Capacity building: The importance of mentoring & training
The emergence of data-intensive science creates a demand for neuroscience educators worldwide to deliver better neuroinformatics education and training in order to raise a generation of modern neuroscientists with FAIR capabilities, aware of the value of standards and best practices, knowledgeable in dealing with big datasets, and able to integrate knowledge over multiple scales and methods. To be able to deal with neuroscience questions efficiently, the neuroscientists of tomorrow will require dual experience in bench sciences and in computational and data sciences. To facilitate the future’s bigger and more complex collaborations, scientists will also require better training in communication, collaboration and ethics. Attracting and training this new generation of neuroscientists will be of critical importance to the future of neuroscience.
For these reasons, training activities are a key strategic focus of INCF. For practical reasons, access to advanced training has often been limited by distance, time, lack of resources and limited access to materials. INCF has developed a web service, TrainingSpace, linking world-class neuroinformatics training resources, developed both by INCF and by partners, which integrates existing community resources with newly constructed custom content. INCF also arranges the yearly INCF Assembly, where community members can learn about the latest advancements in neuroinformatics, attend tutorials on the latest tools, methods, and neuroinformatics approaches, and interact with tool developers.
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Since 2011, the INCF network has served as a mentoring organization that pairs students with developers to work on 3-month programming projects.
Training and education of early career “neuroinformaticians” is a major focus for the INCF, and it’s also an area prioritized by many IAC members, including MathWorks. Towards this goal, Mathworks and INCF have partnered to establish a fellowship program that engages current or recently graduated students as trainees to work on MATLAB neuroscience toolboxes.
The Assembly is the annual gathering of the INCF network and serves as
its major outreach outlet for the network. The Assembly provides a forum in which the neuroscience community can learn about the latest
advancements in neuroinformatics, attend tutorials on the latest tools, methods, and neuroinformatics approaches, and interact with tool developers and infrastructure providers.
Neurostars (NS) is an open access question and answer site that serves the INCF network and the global neuroscience community as a forum for knowledge exchange between neuroscience researchers at all levels of expertise, software developers, and infrastructure providers.
TrainingSpace (TS) is an online hub that makes multimedia educational content from courses, conference lectures, and laboratory exercises from some of the world’s leading neuroscience institutes and societies more accessible to the global neuroscience community. TS provides users with study tracks for self-guided study, tutorials on tools and open science resources for neuroscience research, a Q&A forum, and
access to publicly available datasets as well as links to