rOpenSci Champions Program Kick off

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The Champions Program got off to a great start in 2023!

We’re happy to report on the first couple of months in our first run of the rOpenSci Champions Program. In September 2022, we launched the program, advertising for both mentors and mentees to apply.

We received a total of 102 applications from 31 different countries. Seventy-four applications were for champions and twenty eight for mentors. We are very grateful to everyone who took the time to apply to our program.

Champions could select one of three project options: 51% chose to develop a new package, 25% to be part of our review process, and 24% to submit a package to our peer review process.

Map of the world with the countries colored according to the number of applications. Applications are shown in America, Europe, Oceania, Asia and Africa (in that order with respect to the number of applications).

After carefully reviewing each application, we selected ten champions and ten mentors for this first cohort. Three of our champions will develop a new package, four will prepare and submit their package to the review process, and three will become rOpenSci reviewers.

The mentors will accompany their mentees throughout the process of executing their projects.

These first participants are from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Nigeria, Turkey, Australia, France, Norway, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Collage of headshot of all champions and mentors.

Kick-off meetings

During January, we held the kick-off meetings for the program. Because we our Champions and Mentors have such a wide geographic spread, we had (and will be having) at least two different time for all planned activities to accommodate the breadth of timezones.

During these meetings, mentors and champions introduced themselves, shared where they are from, what their project is about, and something that excited them about the program. We also went over logistics, the potential agenda, and scheduled activities. We were excited to see the participants’ enthusiasm to learn, share, execute their projects, and give back to the community!


During February and March, champions and mentors will receive training in different topics that will provide them with useful tools to carry out their projects.

We’re also happy to note that in April and May, we will conduct workshops for those not selected to be champions. These workshops will provide an opportunity for all applicants to develop skills in open-source software development for supporting career opportunities as well as future applications to this or other similar programs. We will be publishing details about these workshops in March.

Stay tuned for more information about our mentors, champions, and their projects!

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