Request for Workshop Proposals: Clade Focused Tree-Data Integration Challenges

FuturePhy | OpenTree | Arbor
Request for Workshop Proposals: Clade Focused Tree-Data Integration Challenges

RFP: 2 page proposals to fund small workshops and/or hackathons on completing the tree of life and integrating data layers for specific clades.
Proposal deadline: Nov. 1, 2015
Meeting dates: Feb 20-23, 2016
Location: Gainesville, University of Florida
Participants per workshop: 10 maximum funded (virtual attendees possible)
Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (FuturePhy), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (OpenTree), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Arbor)

The challenges to completing the Tree of Life and integrating data layers (NSF GoLife goals) are huge and vary across clades. Some groups have a nearly-complete tree but lack publicly available data layers, whereas other groups lack phylogenetic resolution or the resources to support tree / data integration. Partnering with Open Tree of Life and Arbor Workflows, FuturePhy will support a series of clade-based workshops to identify and solve specific challenges in tree of life synthesis and data layer integration.

Proposals should focus on challenges in completing the tree of life and integrating data layers for a clade or clades of interest. Cross-fertilization among systematists and other fields is desired, with focus on phylogenetic challenges, data layer development, and/or tree-data integration and analyses. How can developers of Arbor, OpenTree and other resources develop tools to help solve these challenges? What tools and infrastructure are needed for others to solve similar problems?

Proposals (using the proposal template) should include (1) the status of the phylogeny for your group, including availability of trees in Dryad, TreeBASE or Open Tree of Life, (2) target data layers for the workshops, indicating the locations and accessibility of the data, (3) key biological questions that you would like to ask, given availability of trees and data layers, (4) roadmap to tangible products, with a clear timeline, (5) the challenges to phylogeny and data synthesis in your clade, with specific targets scoped for progress towards a solution during the workshop, (6) evidence that public data exist as a starting point or access to data that can be made public.

General plans & logistics. Each workshop may involve up to 10 funded attending participants, with the first set of workshops to happen in parallel at the same time and location. Open Tree of Life, FuturePhy and Arbor personnel will be there to demo, discuss and plan implementation. Each group should involve participants familiar with data analysis / integration / use of web services (e.g., in R, python). Groups can focus anywhere on the spectrum of completing phylogeny to integrating data layers. Groups agree to make assembled data or tools publicly available and to provide a post-workshop report after the event. Phylogenetic data will be incorporated into Open Tree of Life.

Evaluation. Proposals will be evaluated on (1) the feasibility of solving the specific challenges, including evidence for publicly-available data; (2) participant diversity (discipline, career stages, gender, ethnicity), (3) participant expertise, (4) how solving these challenges will benefit researchers in other clades, (5) potential for increasing public data, tools, products, and contributing trees to Open Tree of Life and related initiatives.