Nominations for 2019 Biocuration Awards – now open

The International Society for Biocuration is happy to announce the 2019 Biocuration Awards.

In 2019 ISB will give two different awards to people who have made a significant impact in the field of biocuration. We welcome your nominations!

Description of the awards:

1) Award for Exceptional Contributions to Biocuration
ISB’s Exceptional Contributions Award recognizes a person who is a leader or a pioneer in the field of biocuration, and whose work has been fundamental to the advancement of biocuration.

2) Biocuration Career Award
The Biocuration Career Award recognizes biocurators in non-leadership positions who have made sustained contributions to the field of biocuration. Those who hold Principal Investigator or Group Leader positions are not eligible for the Biocuration Career Award.

Each award recipient will be invited to present a talk at the 2019 International Biocuration Conference that will take place in Cambridge (UK) in April (https://www.biocuration2019.org/), with all expenses paid by ISB.

Nomination process:
Nominations will be reviewed by the 2019 ISB Awards Committee, comprised of one member of the ISB’s Executive Committee (ISB-EC) and six (6) additional members from the wider research community; these members were nominated by the ISB-EC based on diversity in area of expertise, organization type, role, and geographic location.

Who can nominate and/or be nominated?

  • Any currently active ISB member may nominate anyone in the field of biocuration, whether the potential nominee is a member of ISB or not.
  • Members of the ISB can make no more than 1 nomination per award.
  • Current members of the Executive Committee or the ISB Award Committee are not eligible for the awards.
  • Self-nominations will not be considered.

How to submit a nomination:

Nominations should be sent via email to the awards committee at intsocbio@gmail.com with the subject line “Biocuration Awards Nominations”.

The nomination email should contain all the following fields:

  • Nominator details (name, e-mail and affiliation, member of ISB);
  • Nominee details (name, e-mail and affiliation);
  • Type of award nomination (either Exceptional Contributions to Biocuration or Biocuration Career Award);
  • Short list of scholarly contributions (a maximum of 50 words);
  • Brief description of why you are recommending this person (a maximum of 350 words).

Deadline for submitting nominations:  Friday 4-January-2019

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ISB Newsletter – December 2018

Hello!

This is the fourth quarter newsletter for the International Society for Biocuration, and the first newsletter from your new 2018/2019 ISB Executive Committee.


Welcome to the New Executive Committee!

I would like, on behalf of all the membership, to welcome our new committee members, Jane Lomax, Fredric Bastian and Mary-Ann Tuli, to their roles and to thank the outgoing members, Cecilia Arighi, Suzanna Lewis and Zhang Zhang for all their hard work. We look forward to a busy 12 months with both the  Biocuration Career Award and the Exceptional Contribution to Biocuration Award to be made, and conference travel fellowships, microgrants and exchange fellowships to be decided upon. We hope you will contact us with ideas on how we enhance the profile of Biocuration in the scientific community and take the opportunity to talk to members of the EC if you are attending the 2019 Biocuration conference in Cambridge UK.

We look forward to working with you, and for you, in 2018/19

Sandra Orchard, Chair

The Executive Committee


Submit your nominations for 2019 Biocuration Awards

In 2019 ISB will give two different awards to people who have made a significant impact in the field of biocuration. We welcome your nominations! The deadline is January 04, 2019.

More info here.


Postgraduate Certificate in Biocuration

This October, the University of Cambridge, UK was pleased to welcome its first cohort of students on the Postgraduate Certificate in Biocuration.

This Master’s level award is offered by the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) and is completed in one year.

The course has been been designed to provide a route for new biocurators to develop a knowledge of the field and the skills required to work within it; provide those already working in the field with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and current skill set, and to provide a formally recognized qualification for Biocuration.

Most of the three module course is delivered via the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment), with a 3 or 4 day face-to-face workshop providing more hands on learning.

More information can be found here.

The first 3 day workshop took place at the magnificent Madingley Hall in Cambridge, UK in October, and introduced the students to the Principles of Biocuration. The workshop gave the students a chance to get to know each other and many of the course tutors. 


Microgrant Report: CIViC-hosted hackathon and curation workshop

By Kilannin Krysiak

The second CIViC-hosted hackathon and curation workshop was held as an open-format one and a half day pre-conference to the 2018 ASHG meeting in San Diego. Over 50 Attendees were present representing over 20 organizations and institutions from multiple countries. Session topics were suggested by attendees and CIViC team members and covered coding (hackathon) and issues in cancer variant representation and curation.

Read more here.


 Microgrant Report: 9th annual International Conference on Biological Ontologies (ICBO2018)

Ontologies for Health, Food, Nutrition and Environment: A partnership with BIG-Data and Analytics

By Pankaj Jaiswal

Oregon State University hosted the 9th annual International Conference on Biological Ontologies (http://icbo2018.cgrb.oregonstate.edu). The theme of the ICBO2018 was Ontologies for Health, Food, Nutrition and Environment A partnership with BIG-Data and Analytics. ICBO2018 was a marquee event celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Oregon State University (OSU150).

ICBO2018 concluded with a vote of thanks and the announcement for 10th ICBO (ICBO2019) to be held at the University at Buffalo, New York, USA. More info will be shared when it is available.

Read the full microgrant report on ICBO2018 here.


Announcement: 21st Genomic Standards Consortium Meeting

Dates: May 20-23, 2019

GSC 21st 3-day meeting will highlight the nexus of genomic standards and innovative methods in genomics. The meeting in charming Vienna will bring together people from many fields, including microbiology, microbial ecology, bioinformatics, medicine and system biology.

Registration will open January 14th, 2019


Recommendations for sustainable genomics and genetics databases for agriculture

The AGBioData Consortium is made up of scientists from 32 genetic, genomic and breeding databases in the agricultural sector.  A list of member databases can be seen here:  https://www.agbiodata.org/databases.

This group is developing standards and best practices that can be adopted uniformly across agricultural databases to increase both interoperability and user experience.  Focus areas include biocuration, metadata and persistence, ontologies, database platforms, programmatic access to data, and communication. A recent publication outlining AgBioData consortium recommendations is here: https://academic.oup.com/database/article/2018/2018/bay088/5096675

​The challenge with standards and best practices is not defining them, but implementing them. They will be focused on implementation of standards and best practices in the next few years.


Congratulations to Ruth Lovering!

Ruth Lovering was recently promoted to a Professorial Research Fellow at UCL!

Ruth serves as the Lead of the UCL Functional Gene Annotation, a group which provides literature curation to support Gene Ontology (GO) and protein interaction data annotation. The Functional Gene Annotation team also teaches a bioinformatics module for the UCL Genetics Institute’s MSc in Genetics of Human Disease and an annual workshop on GO and other bioinformatics resources.


Save the date!
12th International Biocuration Conference

West Road concert hall in Cambridge UK will provide the location of the 12th International Biocuration Conference in April 7-10, 2019. This is an ideal forum for biocurators, developers and researchers to collaborate and promote their work within this active and growing community. Participants and submissions are welcome from academia, government and healthcare organizations, and industry. Please check biocuration2019.org, or follow #biocuration2019 on Twitter, for the latest information and details on how to register.

Register here

Abstract submissions and workshop proposals are due December 21st 2018. More info here.


Funding Opportunities from the ISB

The ISB offers microgrants to sponsor local and regional short meetings of ISB members to foster synergy of their work efforts. We’d like to promote requests for funding that address issues surrounding diversity or accessibility.

To promote collaboration and exchange between biocuration groups ISB offers fellowships. The fellowship will fund the visit of a biocurator to another laboratory or organization with extensive experience in biocuration.


Share your news and ideas with the ISB

Have an upcoming paper that you’d like to highlight for the ISB community? Let us know.

We welcome your feedback and ideas. Please contact us at intsocbio@gmail.com

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Registration for Biocuration 2019 now open!

We are pleased to announce that the registration for Biocuration 2019 is now open ! Visit the conference site here: https://www.biocuration2019.org/
or directly access  the registration page at: https://www.biocuration2019.org/registration

The conference will be held on April 7-10th, 2019 at The West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, UK.

You may now submit talk/poster abstracts (https://www.biocuration2019.org/submit-an-abstract) – please read details of the session topics listed on that page before doing so.

May we also remind you of the opportunity to organise workshops, both before and during the conference (https://www.biocuration2019.org/submit-a-workshop)

We are looking forward to seeing you in Cambridge in 2019 !

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RESULTS OF 2018 ELECTIONS OF ISB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The results of the 2018 Elections of the ISB Executive Committee are in!

Congratulations to
Frederic Bastian, Sandra Orchard, Jane Lomax and Mary-Ann Tuli

Thank you to the ISB members who participated in this year’s election. A total of 97 members voted, out of the 198 current ISB members (49%).

Welcome Frederic, Jane and Mary-Ann as new members, and congratulations to Sandra for your re-election to a second term. Frederic, Jane and Mary-Ann will fill three open positions when the terms of Ceci Arighi, Suzi Lewis and Zhang Zhang come to completion on 31-October-2018.

Please join us in thanking Ceci, Suzi and Zhang for all their work over the past years!

We would like to also express our sincere gratitude to Lei Lui, who who considered volunteering his time as part of the ISB-EC this year.

We are also very grateful with the following ISB members who volunteered their time for a successful execution of the 2018 EC election:

2018 Nominating Committee:

  • Mike Cherry (Chair)
  • Fiona McCarthy
  • Lilly Winfree
  • Sue Bello
  • Luana Licata

Thank you again for participating in the 2018 ISB electoral process!

Sincerely,
Your Colleagues at the ISB Executive Committee

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2018 CANDIDATES – ISB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

These are the candidates standing for election to the Executive Committee of the International Society for Biocuration in 2018. Five (5) candidates have been nominated to fill four (4) open positions.

Please take a moment to learn more about each candidate’s professional background and motivations for standing for election to join the ISB Executive Committee by reviewing their nomination packet. Click on the name of each candidate to download the file.

This list was automatically randomized before posting.

Voting will take place online over the course of one week on 01-08 October 2018 using Election Runner.

Only paying members with registration fees cleared on or before 30 September 2018 will be entitled and allowed to vote. Eligible members will receive further instructions via email.

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ISB Newsletter – September 2018

Hello! This is the third quarter newsletter for the International Society for Biocuration, a series providing with the latest information on activities and ideas contributed by our community members


Luana Licata’s recap from ISB fellowship visit to EMBL-EBI

By Luana Licata

The short-term fellowship conferred by the International Society for Biocuration (ISB) has given me the opportunity to spend, as a visitor, two weeks, from the 2nd to the 13th of July 2018, at the EMBL-EBI, Hinxton, UK.

At the EMBL-EBI, I have been hosted by the IntAct team and I have worked with the Protein Function Team (EMBL-EBI) and the Gene Annotation Team of the Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics (UCL, London) and with the Molecular Interaction Team (IntAct, EMBL-EBI). Read more here.


Microgrant funding for GCCBOSC 2018


The first joint event of the Galaxy Community Conference and the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (GCCBOSC 2018) was held from June 25-30 at Portland’s Reed College, and the conference received a microgrant from the ISB to help offer childcare at the conference.  To read more, go here


Hackathons for Education and Rapid Prototyping, Research, and Production

By Ben Busby

Solving a scientific problem or building a new bioinformatics tool in just three days – sound impossible? It’s not, when you bring together groups of participants with diverse backgrounds and skill sets in an NCBI-style hackathon! Unlike competitive hackathons, in which many teams vie to create the best solution to a single problem, NCBI-style hackathons are cooperative, with each team tackling its own project, and sharing ideas and expertise with other teams. Participants have ranged from undergraduates to biomedical librarians to front-end developers to senior bioinformaticians, and over the course of 30 hackathons, they’ve developed over a hundred products. They’ve also benefited from the opportunity to learn from and network with their teammates, and the gratification of (hopefully!) creating a cool new tool or resource that can be shared with the scientific community. Since hackathons bring together participants from varied subject matter and computational backgrounds, who typically wouldn’t collaborate otherwise, teams are able to come up with novel and unique solutions that wouldn’t likely come out of a more traditional scientific setting.

If you’re interested in participating in a hackathon, check out the list of upcoming hackathons happening all over the United States (and the world)! No hackathon happening near you? Run your own! A few tips for planning a successful hackathon:

  • Be realistic about selecting projects – be sure to pick a problem that can feasibly be solved in three days.
  • Make sure to keep your participants fed (and caffeinated) to keep energy and productivity up.
  • Document your work and make it open source so that others can benefit from your work.
  • Most importantly, have fun and meet some new people!

If you’re interested in learning more about hackathons or seeing examples of projects, visit the Biohackathons page or the Hackathons channel at F1000 Research.


ELIXIR Resources for Biocurators

by Peter McQuilton on behalf of ELIXIR

ELIXIR, an intergovernmental organisation that brings together life science resources from across Europe, has a lot to offer biocurators from across the globe. The goal of ELIXIR is to coordinate these resources so that they form a single infrastructure that makes it easier for scientists to find and share data, exchange expertise, and agree on best practices. ELIXIR activities are grouped into five platforms (Compute, Data, Tools, Training and Interoperability), which are developing a range of bioinformatics services and resources. The Interoperability Platform offers a number of useful resources:

  • FAIRsharing (https://www.fairsharing.org) – A manually curated registry of databases (both repositories and knowledgebases), the standards they use (reporting guidelines, ontologies, identifier schema, models and formats), and the funder and journal data policies that recommend their use.
  • Identifiers.org (https://www.identifiers.org) – a universal identifier resolution service for data identifier schemes in the life sciences.
  • Bioschemas.org (https://www.bioschemas.org) – an extension of schema.org that allows the detailed mark-up of biological datasets, data repositories, training and more. Marked-up webpages are used by ELIXIR services and by the new Google Dataset Search Tool.

In addition, those interested in bioinformatics training can use the ELIXIR Training portal, TeSS (https://tess.elixir-europe.org/). TeSS brings together training materials and events from Europe and beyond and links them to other resources within the ELIXIR infrastructure.

Visit the ELIXIR catalogue of services to find out about the full range of resources available through ELIXIR: www.elixir-europe.org/services. For more information about the ELIXIR Platforms visit: https://www.elixir-europe.org/platforms/


The new ISB-TeSS training widget

By Peter McQuilton

Working with the ELIXIR TeSS Training and Events Portal (https://tess.elixir-europe.org/)  and the GOBLET training organisation (https://www.mygoblet.org/), we have added a new widget to the ISB website.

This widget calls the TeSS API directly to provide the latest information on training materials and events around the world. If you have a training event or training materials you would like to add to the widget (which will also mean that material is listed on TeSS and GOBLET) you can add it to the TeSS website here: https://tess.elixir-europe.org/about/registering


Save the date!
12th International Biocuration Conference

West Road concert hall in Cambridge UK will provide the location of the 12th International Biocuration Conference in April 7-10, 2019. This is an ideal forum for biocurators, developers and researchers to collaborate and promote their work within this active and growing community. Participants and submissions are welcome from academia, government and healthcare organisations, and industry. Please check biocuration2019.org, or follow #biocuration2019 on Twitter, for the latest information and details on how to register.

Note that the paper submission deadline for inclusion in the Biocuration virtual issue of Database is October 31st 2018.


Executive Committee Elections

The Executive Committee Elections will be held this fall for 4 vacancies. The following EC member is up for re-election:

The following EC members will be stepping down from the EC:

  • Cecilia Arighi
  • Suzanna Lewis
  • Zhang Zhang

Candidates will be announced on the website by September 28th. The election will run from October 01-08, 2018. Only ISB members are able to vote. More info here: https://www.biocuration.org/isb-ec-elections-2018


Funding Opportunities from the ISB

The ISB offers microgrants to sponsor local and regional short meetings of ISB members to foster synergy of their work efforts.

To promote collaboration and exchange between biocuration groups ISB offers fellowships. The fellowship will fund the visit of a biocurator to another laboratory or organization with extensive experience in biocuration.


Share your news and ideas with the ISB

Have an upcoming paper that you’d like to highlight for the ISB community? Let us know.

We welcome your feedback and ideas. Please contact us at intsocbio@gmail.com

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Executive Committee Election

The election of the new International Society for Biocuration Executive Committee (ISB EC) will be held in October 2018. The Executive Committee is composed of nine (9) members, each with a 3-year term. Being a member of the Executive Committee is a great way to become directly involved with the work of our society, and contribute to the decisions that are taken on behalf of the biocuration community. We would like to encourage all members interested in running for election to get involved in the process.

Serving on the ISB EC minimally involves attending monthly teleconference meetings (1 hour in length) and following up on any action points from meetings, as well as promoting the ISB’s activity to members and non-members. Examples of activities performed by EC members include reviewing micro-grant submissions, preparing call for participation for hosting Biocuration meetings, preparing materials for ISB election, monitoring ISB mail and website. There are specific positions such as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer that will require a larger time commitment, as they will be in charge of leading the steps of the executive committee and by extension the membership.

This year, there are four (4) open positions, as the terms of Sandra Orchard, Cecilia Arighi, Suzanna Lewis and Zhang Zhang will come to completion. (The current ISB EC members are here.)

2018 Electoral Process

A) The Nominating Committee:
A Nominating Committee (NC) has been formed to oversee the electoral process, to review applications, and establish the final list of candidates. We are very grateful for their assistance with the execution of this election. The members of the 2018 Nominating Committee are:

  • Mike Cherry (Chair)
  • Fiona McCarthy
  • Lilly Winfree
  • Sue Bello
  • Luana Licata

B) Instructions to Candidates: 

  1. If you would like to run for a position on the Executive Committee, you must first register your intent with the NC emailing isbelection@gmail.com
  2. Please fill out this form by 31 August 2018, which includes a ‘statement of intent‘, a brief biographical sketch, and a ‘conflict of interests‘ statement describing any activities, memberships of other associations, editorial positions on journals, etc.

C) Timeline:

  • Nominations will be received until 31 August 2018.
  • The NC will review all candidacies and share their selections with the ISB Executive Committee by 14 September 2018.
  • Candidates must be announced to the membership and on website (with letters of intent) by 28 September 2018
  • Voting will take place online over the course of one week from 01-08 October 2018. (Further details about the voting process will be shared soon). Eleanor Williams will act as election officer.
  • Only paying members with registration fees cleared on or before 28 September 2018 will be entitled and allowed to vote. If you pay your registration via bank transfer, please allow at least 2-3 working days for the payment to be processed.

The Nominating Committee is looking forward to receiving your applications!

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ISB Newsletter – June 2018

Hello! This is the second quarter newsletter for the International Society for Biocuration, a series providing with the latest information on activities and ideas contributed by our community members; upcoming biocuration-related events; news on ISB funding opportunities and awards; job openings and updates of the ISB Executive Committee activities.

The 1st National Symposium on Database Development and Biocuration (NSDDB 2018) was organized at the University of Delhi. The goal of this symposium was to lay a foundation for a vibrant and active biocuration community in India. Future meetings aim to have hands-on modules on various biocuration techniques and attempts will also be made to forge a close association with the international biocuration community.
Rama Balakrishnan, member of the ISB’s Executive Committee, addressed this meeting via a recording about the mission of the ISB, the various activities that the ISB has been involved in and invited the Indian curation community to join the ISB and make use of the vast networking and other benefits/opportunities that ISB has to offer.

The (Re)usable Data Project

The (Re)usable Data Project assesses how licensing behaviors impact reuse. They created a rubric to determine the reusability of data resources and have applied it to 56 scientific data resources to date. The results show significant barriers to reuse and interoperability.
For more information go to: http://reusabledata.org

MoonProt 2.0 release 

Moonlighting protein is a single protein that has multiple functions. The Jeffery lab at the University of Chicago has recently updated their MoonProt Database. For more information go to: doi:10.1093/nar/gkx1043
The lab plans to continue adding examples of moonlighting proteins and expanding the annotation of the ones that are included.
If you have information to submit to the database or you want to help with moonlight protein curation (as a volunteer), please contact: Connie Jeffery

Need to hire a biocurator?

As an outcome of the Careers in Biocuration Workshop at the Biocuration 2018 conference, a generic position description for the biocuration profession is now available on our website.

Funding Opportunities from the ISB

The ISB offers microgrants to sponsor local and regional short meetings of ISB members to foster synergy of their work efforts.
To promote collaboration and exchange between biocuration groups ISB offers fellowships. The fellowship will fund the visit of a biocurator to another laboratory or organization with long experience in biocuration.


Biocuration Training Materials Available Online

Interested in learning new skills relevant to biocuration? Online educational materials are now available online through GOBLET and via the Elixr TeSS widget on our website.

If you have materials you’d like to contribute and make publicly available, please let us know.


Our first fellow!

Congratulations to Dr. Luana Licata from the MINT database at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, who received our first fellowship. She will visit the Protein Function Team at EMBL-EBI and the Gene  Annotation Team at the UCL London, to learn Gene Ontology (GO) annotation.


Upcoming conferences:

  • Other related meeting and conferences are on our website

Executive Committee Elections 

The Executive Committee Elections will be held this fall for 4 vacancies. The call for nominations for the Executive Committee will be announced soon, please check your inboxes.


Call for volunteers

We have a variety of needs for the ISB, and we’d love your help. Please contact us if you’d like to help out with any of the tasks below:

 Website development and maintenance 
  • Maintain and improve the WordPress site that is running
    .biocuration.org
  • Optimize membership signup / renewal / reporting system.
Social media
  • Contribute to Society’s presence on Twitter and Facebook.
Review committees
  • Contribute to selection of impactful exchange fellowships.
  • Contribute to selection of relevant candidates for the ISB elections.
  • Contribute to selection of ISB awardees.
Reviewers
  • Are you willing to act as a reviewer for journals who need your expertise?
Newsletter
Thank you to Andrei Kiselev for your help with this newsletter.

Share your news and ideas with the ISB

Have an upcoming paper that you’d like to highlight for the ISB community? Let us know.

We welcome your feedback and ideas. Please contact us at intsocbio@gmail.com


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Call: Host the 13th International Biocuration Conference

ISB_logo

Dear Colleagues,

The Executive Committee of the International Society for Biocuration would like to once again invite tenders to host the 13th International Biocuration Conference during the Northern Spring or Summer of 2020.

Individuals and organizations interested in applying may do so by sending a proposal to the ISB Executive Committee (intsocbio@gmail.com) on or before August 31,  2018.

The successful bidder will be notified by October 1,  2018. The ISB Executive Committee will publicly announce the selected organization or individuals during the 12th International Biocuration Conference, to be held in Cambridge, UK in April, 2019.

Format:  

Proposals should be short; length should not exceed one side of an A4 or US letter size sheet, using 11 point font.

The proposal should contain:

  • The name and institution of the local organizer
  • Details of the proposed venue for up to 350 participants
  • The range of dates available for the conference
  • A brief outline of a strategic plan to attract a broad range of participants from the Biocuration community
  • As fair gender representation is positively encouraged by the ISB; we would also like to know how the applicant intends to promote this.

In a continued effort to bring our meeting to curators in all geographic regions, we strongly encourage ISB members to put forward proposals to bring the ISB meeting to your region once again, or for the first time! Based on ISB meeting region rotation, for ISB 2020 we are encouraging a location in the Americas, but will also consider other locations.

REGIONS ROTATION:

Asia and Australasia

Europe

Americas

 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Your colleagues at the ISB Executive Committee.

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Postgraduate Certificate in Biocuration – University of Cambridge, UK

Launching in October 2018, the Post Graduate Certificate in Biocuration at the University of Cambridge is the first formal educational qualification in the field of Biocuration.
Postgraduate Certificate Image
Developed collaboratively between the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) and EMBL-EBI, this programme has been designed to provide biocurators with a set of practical skills that are applicable across the biological sciences.  Whether you are new to biocuration and looking to develop your skills, or an established curator looking to gain a recognised qualification, this course will provide a strong foundation in the principles of biocuration with additional focus on computational skills, data management and user-experience.
The course is divided into three modules, each including a 3 day workshop followed by a period of self-study through online activities. You do not need to be based in Cambridge to study for this course, but you must be able to attend all workshops.
For more details on the course and to apply, please visit: http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/postgraduate-certificate-biocuration
Applications close 30th June 2018.
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