To broaden the spectrum of diverse institutions active in bioinformatics and genomic data science, we seek partnerships with educators and researchers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Community Colleges (CCs). Cloud-based resources such as AnVIL provide genomic data access, computing, and training, serving as a catalyst for bringing together students, educators, and researchers at both resource-rich institutions and institutions not traditionally engaged in genomics research. We envision the GDSCN as providing a voice for the community that will guide and advocate for high-throughput tools and resources necessary to implement genomics in data science successfully
A kickoff meeting, held in March 2021, took place as a 2 hour online meeting (see slides). We started by presenting the working group mission and provided an opportunity for each representative to introduce themselves. Then, we engaged in discussions about needed educational resources, datasets and computational tools, and educator support.
We are collaboratively drafting a white paper outlining methods to bring genomic data science to underrepresented academic communities. An online brainstorming and discussion meeting highlighting challenges and potential solutions took place in April 2021 (see slides).
Following up on our Kickoff meeting in March and our white paper check-in in April, we met again in May 2021. During this symposium, we reviewed the status of the white paper, continued brainstorming additional topics for the manuscript, performed a demonstration of what can be done on the genomic data cloud computing platform known as AnVIL (analysis visualization and informatics lab-space), and reviewed upcoming conferences and events (see slides).
The following months will be used to develop three main products: 1) Short lab modules adapted from existing contributed material; 2) A MOOC-style teacher’s guide; and 3) Identify five scientific questions that are suitable for future research by students at diverse institutions. Instructors will be recruited to test these lab modules as a component of their regular teaching portfolio, with curricula designed in such a way as to reduce, rather than increase, teaching load for the participating instructors. Communication between students, educators, and scientists will be encouraged by including exercises that leverage both anvil-community.slack.com and help.anvilproject.org. Utilizing these community forums will allow scientists at research universities to interact with and support students with technical, scientific, and mentorship questions.
This initial stage will conclude with a final meeting in early 2022. Activities include: 1) Presenting the results from the initial testing; 2) Presenting the five research questions identified by the subgroups; 3) Discuss assessments, and identify curriculum revisions based on initial testing and necessary steps to expand to other institutions; 4) Research or teaching presentations by participating faculty; and 5) Draft a paper summarizing our efforts that will include each external faculty as an author.