DS Governance / Funding opportunity (CZI)

In the DS workshop in September, there was a discussion on the final day about future plans for DataSHIELD - including development of an overall governance structure (steering committee etc) for the project. I thought this made it onto the Road Map but I’ve just checked the wiki and I don’t see it there. I wonder if @olly, @becca.wilson or @paul.genepi could perhaps comment on any progress that has been made. Or, indeed, whether there is anything that I or others can do to help move things along.

The reason I ask this is because I think it may be helpful (although not essential) for funding applications - in order to advance DataSHIELD technically etc. For instance, there is a funding call about to open from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative which I think is very appropriate for DataSHIELD:

This provides the opportunity for open source software used in the biological (including medical) sciences to get funding for “maintenance, growth, development, and community engagement” – and I think that DataSHIELD would be a good candidate for funding, particularly if there’s something specific that can be identified to work on (which I’m sure there is!). More info is on their website as well as on the medium post:

Best wishes to all,


Hi Andrei

This is indeed planned and I agree it’s important. To be honest a lot of the time since the workshop has been spent dealing with ensuring smooth transition to v5.0 and preparation for 5.1/5.2 and DSI v6.0 (several parallel interests being expressed in omics extension.

However the project governance is crucial. Olly and Becca are centrally involved in a serious strike amongst UK university academics at present - but as soon as they are back (later this week) I think we need to move forward with this. I would suggest we have a group Skype to pull together everyone who is interested in taking this forward (which includes me :slight_smile: )

If you are interested in putting in a bid to this funding call I would certainly be interested in us joining with you. There may be interest from our social interaction arm too (led by Madeleine) to add an extra dimension to what we can propose. Let’s discuss this at Skype meeting too.

What does everyone else think?

Ciao paul

It looks like a very good match for DataSHIELD, and a change from the more usual funding sources that haven’t quite caught up with the idea that once software has initially been developed, it needs further capital to maintain and grow it.

I would be interested in joining initial discussions


Yes, it is good to have funding for research software specifically. In Canada they have a funding program for research software (Canarie) to which I have applied last week with some people from the Canadian Transplant Registry (thanks Paul for the support!). Our proposal aims at improving the DataSHIELD infrastructure (deployment, system administration and monitoring, report oriented user interface).

Paul mentioned the omics extension. I am working on the infrastructure part of it and I can say that the new functionalities will allow much more than the omics analysis: big data, complex relational data, HPC services access etc. More details soon (I am currently setting up a test environment)…


Thanks @paul.genepi, @tombishop and @yannick for the replies - and I wish Olly and Becca the best for the strike (which I’ve been trying to follow from afar).

Regarding a meeting, I think this is a great idea. I’ve created a doodle to try and find a date/time:

Please participate! I suggest we try and complete the doodle between now and the middle of next week (Wednesday 11th) so people have a little bit of advance warning.

NB, I’ve created one hour slots (on the days over the next month that I can make it!) but I suspect that a meeting will perhaps last longer than this, so we should probably try to find a two hour slot that people can make.

Suggested agenda (please feel free to add ideas!):

  1. quick introductions
  2. setting up a DataSHIELD steering committee
  3. CZI funding application

Regarding funding application - @paul.genepi there is no way I would consider applying for anything without you being involved! Indeed, was rather the other way around:I thought I could join you in the application. @tombishop and @yannick - same goes for you! Possible thoughts I had were using money to get a developer to do a specific task that would benefit multiple projects, although having read through in more detail the actual call just now, I wonder if another idea would be to apply for funds to develop the project governance and set up the steering committee. Anyway, all for discussion!

Final important question: I remember a number of people indicating interest in contributing to the governance discussion, so it would be good to invite them as I’m not sure if they’re all on the forum or not. I guess @becca.wilson will have a list so if you let me know when you’re back after the strike I can help in contacting people.

Just a quick ping - particularly to see if @paul.genepi, @yannick, @becca.wilson, @olly and @rcamacho as well as others are able to participate… I seem to remember that Sarah Rodgers, @jrgonzalez and Artur Rocha were among those interested in this discussion at the Workshop in September, I’m sure I’ve forgotten some others too (sorry, nothing personal, just my bad memory!!)

Best wishes,


I’m sorry for not having replying to this post until now. I just login to DataSHIELD discussing group last weekend after talking to Paul and Yannick about dsOmics package.

Yes, I was interested in being part of DS Goverance but I have not talked to anyone about it. I would be very grateful if @olly @beca.wilson or @paul,genepi could provide some information about the current status.

Considering the possibility of applying to the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, I guess this is a excellent idea. For instance, Bioconductor got a grant from them.

BTW, I’ve just filled in the doodle for having this initial meeting

Sorry I’m in the middle of data collection until the end of this term and so have had little time for anything else. I can make a call in January - however if @paul.genepi or @olly have replied already, don’t let me delay having a call earlier.

Hi all,

Some of us had a spontaneous/last-minute meeting today to discuss the issues raised in this thread. I will be posting a much fuller summary by the end of the week (and, probably breaking the two topics here - DataSHIELD governance and a probably CZI funding application - out into separate threads). In the meantime, we plan to have a next teleconference discussion on Tuesday 07 January 2020 at 09:00-11:00 UTC (i.e. GMT - equivalent to 10:00-12:00 CET).

Best wishes,


Thanks Andrei fot letting us this. I’m sorry but I cannot attend this last-minute meeting today (BTW, I did not receive anything about that) since I’ll be out-of-my-office. As I expressed in the last DataSHIELD meeting, I am fully open to be involved in the DataSHIELD governance. I guess I can provide feedback about what can be done with regard omics data. I have annotated that the next discussion will be on 7th January. Please count on me. I also would like to be involved in the CZI funding application discussion (if possible).

Best, Juan

Hi Juan - don’t worry, the meeting was yesterday (Tuesday) and we saw from the doodle you were unable to make it, hence why you weren’t notified. But we very much want you to be involved!!! In fact, I don’t recall where you work: could you send me an email ( andrei [dot] morgan [AT] inserm [dot] fr ) so that I can make sure you get any off-forum discussion. Thanks and best wishes :slight_smile:

Hi, I’m sorry for the confusion. I read your post this morining and I though you’re talking about today :frowning:

I’ll send you an email right now

Best, Juan