OBF Event Fellowships

The Open Bioinformatics Foundation (OBF) promotes open source bioinformatics software development and open science in the biological research community. The OBF Event Fellowship program is aimed at increasing diverse participation at events promoting open science practices such as resource development and dissemination in the bioinformatics and biological research community.

These fellowships are available to support both in-person and remote (virtual) participation at events such as conferences, workshops, training courses or collaborative development sprints.

The OBF Event Fellowship was previously offered under the title OBF Travel Fellowship.



Does the event qualify?

Does the event you want to attend promote open source bioinformatics software development or open science in the biological research community?

Events can include (but are not limited to) conferences, workshops, code fests, and hackathons. The event can occur anytime in a one-year window starting one month after the application deadline. For example, if you are applying for the April 1 deadline, the event you are hoping to attend should take place between May 1 and the following May 1.


What is your participation?

We look at your role at the event, your past participation in the project that you are representing, and also your general involvement in open source development or open science.

We give a slight preference to OBF events and member projects.


Increasing diversity

Does your attendance increase diversity at the event and/or in the overall open source bioinformatics community?

We understand increasing diversity as increasing participation from groups otherwise underrepresented in the community or at the event, including but not limited to underrepresented demographic groups, ethnic origins, career stages, and disabilities.

What does the fellowship cover?

Items covered for in-person participation

  • The fellowship can be used to cover direct travel costs (such as airfare, train, metro, bus and taxi), hotel, childcare and/or conference registration fees up to a value of USD 1,000.
  • Note that rental car expenses and personal car mileage are not eligible for reimbursement. We anticipate that these awards will supplement travel costs, not cover all expenses.
  • If you anticipate that you would require more than USD 1,000 in order to attend the event, please include that information on the application form.

Items covered for remote participation

  • The fellowship can be used to cover conference registration fees and the costs of small hardware (such as a microphone, speaker and webcam), childcare for the duration of the event and/or other supporting materials up to a value of USD 1,000.
  • Applicants are eligible to apply for the cost of a communication platform only if they are hosting a virtual event and will require a paid subscription to access the necessary premium features of the software used in their event.
  • The cost of remote participation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. please note that this fellowship will not cover the cost of buying laptops and computers. However, this fellowship may cover the rental cost of the large hardware.


  • The OBF will reimburse the recipient after the event based on receipts provided and proof of attendance. There is no cash value beyond eligible and documented expenses.


We expect that your participation in the event will

  • promote open source software development and/or open science in the biological research community
  • promote diversity in this community.

Awardees are required to write a post on the OBF blog about their experience attending the event. This should be completed within three weeks after the event ends, and is a prerequisite before the awardee can receive payment.


Who will review the applications?

The review panel is drawn from the OBF Board of Directors and OBF members.

Any panelist with a clear conflict of interest will recuse themselves from deliberation.

How to apply?

Fill out the application form. Applicants will be notified of the outcome about three weeks after the application deadline.

We have created a word template of the form, which can be used for creating a draft of your application. Please make a copy or download this document as a ‘.docx’ file. If Google Docs and Forms are not accessible from your geographical location, please email the fellowship chair to receive a template document by email.

Application Deadlines:

  • Round 1: 1 April
  • Round 2: 1 August
  • Round 3: 1 December