Seeking community volunteers: nomination open for OBF board election 2021

TL;DR: Nominate candidates or yourself for the OBF board via this form or work with OBF in other volunteer capacities.

Nominations are welcome for the OBF Board election

OBF is committed to promoting the practice and philosophy of Open Source software development and Open Science within the biological research community. The roles and functions of OBF have evolved over the last 20 years, and currently include:

– hosting and sponsoring the annual events, Bioinformatics Open Source Conference
– running open source events like CodeFests and Google Summer of Code (GSoC)
– offering Event fellowships to promote diversity of underrepresented community members at open source events
– onboarding and supporting OBF member projects by providing financial management support (e.g., reimbursements and payments and advertising)
– maintaining OBF website, social media and newsletter for information dissemination
– advocating through policy and public statements

OBF board members are elected through public nomination and voting. As board member Yo Yehudi (see this post) reaches the end of her term, we are reflecting on the need to recruit new and more diverse board members. 

In particular, we would like to invite members from low-tech/low-income communities or historically marginalised groups to bring new perspectives to the OBF community and highlight new areas of interest. Elected members of the OBF Board will be instrumental in steering OBF’s work to address urgent challenges and needs in open source bioinformatics communities that we might not have yet recognized.

If the OBF’s goals and values resonate with you, we encourage you to nominate yourself or someone else (please check with them first!) who would be a good addition to the OBF board. Please fill out this form by 1 April 2021:

An election for new board members will be held at the next public board meeting (around May or June 2021 – exact data will be announced soon).

Working with OBF in other volunteer capacity

In addition to the projects mentioned earlier, we are grateful to the members of the OBF community who participate in other community initiatives including (but not limited to) organising BOSC annually, handling GSoC mentorship activities and building capacity (skill development and training) and advocacy around open source in bioinformatics.

These tasks could not have been accomplished without the support of our community members. If you would like to be involved in OBF but don’t want to nominate yourself for a position on the Board, we would be delighted talk to you about how you could get involved with these or other projects:

Curate and edit our quarterly (approximately) newsletter, time commitment approximately 4 hours per issue
– Help maintain and update our website: (WordPress, HTML, CSS skills)
– Help manage our social channels (such as Twitter)
Become a GSoC mentor or organisation admin
– Volunteer at the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference

We appreciate that many of these roles may be new to you and we would offer mentorship and support if it is your first time occupying this type of position – please don’t feel that inexperience should stop you from applying!

OBF also offers support for individuals and groups to promote open source practices and build bioinformatics skills. Here are a few opportunities that you can benefit from:

Apply for the OBF Event fellowship, 2 deadlines on 1 April and 1 October 2021
Become an OBF member to participate in the community
– Apply to become an affiliate project by discussing with the board (see currently affiliated projects)
– Apply for the OBF Grassroots Event Sponsorship (will be announced soon)

We would also love to hear your ideas for how you could help boost OBF’s commitments to:

– representing interests of bioinformatics and open source communities from developing countries
– onboarding member projects from low and middle-income backgrounds
– supporting individuals and communities who are contributing to policy development
– boosting grassroots projects that can benefit from OBF’s support
– spreading awareness of OBF Event Fellowship and affiliation programs

Sound interesting? If so, please get in touch with the board by emailing If you want more information, or want to talk to one of us about being on the board or in the OBF community in general, see the OBF Board page for contact information.

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