30 SLU researchers from Umeå down to Alnarp participated on the kick-off meeting at Ultuna Campus the 27th of October 2017.
In the morning, the SLUBI’s steering committee and the coordinator were introduced, these introductions were followed by the participants’ presentations.
SLUBI will initially be composed of 4 bioinformaticians (one per faculty), a steering committee and a coordinator. The steering committee members are Erik Bongcam-Rudloff for VH faculty, Johan Meijer for NJ faculty, Anders Carlsson for LTV faculty and Thomas Moritz for S faculty. The steering committee is chaired by Erik Bongcam-Rudloff, and the coordinator is Juliette Hayer.
During the kick-off the participants brainstormed about four main questions:
- How to organise teaching and training activities?
- How to organise the support to the researchers?
- How to get together the bioinformatics community at SLU?
- How to manage the computing resources?
During the meeting the needs for bioinformatics support were discussed and the recommendations and reflections from the participants are summarised as follows:
Teaching and training activities:
- An inventory of already existing courses will be made.
- There is a need for introductory courses on a more regular basis (e.g. UNIX, R scripting) also more specialized courses need to be organised. The courses should first focus on graduate students.
- The courses should be open for all personnel at departments, not only for PhD students.
- It was also discussed that we should provide guidelines for Open Science and FAIR data.
Bioinformatics support to research:
- Even though the National Bioinformatics Infrastructure in Sweden (NBIS) can provide bioinformatics support at a national level, there is also a huge need for local support and consulting.
- To be able to interact with SLUBI, researchers at SLU should submit very clear demands for support, and a portal will be set up for this purpose. Some rules for how to prioritise the projects to support will be establish, as well as a fee for support.
- SLUBI will also organise a drop-in support time were people can come and discuss with bioinformaticians about their projects, data, analyses etc.
- SLUBI’s bioinformaticians should be able to give one day (max) of free support.
Gathering the bioinformatics community:
- SLUBI will organise training sessions on specific tools or subjects using different methods (podcasts / YouTube channels / lightning video talks and lessons)
- SLU bioinformaticians are spread across the country and SLUBI will create an online system to allow collaboration among the faculty groups.
- SLUBI will publish a list of people and their set of skills as well as create a mailing list and a Slack group for easy communication among SLU bioinformaticians.
- Some additional SLUBI activities will be: summer schools for PhD students, study groups and seminars for dissemination.
- SLUBI is the official SLU bridge to NBIS, Elixir and a wide range of national and international bioinformatics organisations.
Technical infrastructure - computing resources:
- SLUBI could provide a catalogue of who to contact to be able to use computing resources at each faculty.
- SLUBI will facilitate the sharing of existing computational resources at our university this will allow SLU to build the infrastructure of tomorrow!
This brainstorming kick-off was a good starting point for the platform. It allowed SLUBI to get a lot of ideas, and also raised many questions that need to be worked on.
SLUBI will create a dedicated website accessible to all SLU researchers (www.slubi.se, soon available). This web-portal will publish information about: facilities, experts, news, trainings, etc.