Version 1.0 – Ratified by Steering Committee: June 22, 2020

This page contains the major statement of our community’s vision and purpose, our code of conduct, and our governance. For questions or suggestions email

LifeSciTrainers Vision, Purpose, and Mission 

Vision – What will the world be like if we succeed

LifeSciTrainers improves life science by ensuring scientists and educators have the latest skills and knowledge they need to succeed. 

Mission – How we accomplish our vision

LifeSciTrainers accomplishes its mission by building a global community of practice for life science trainers: anyone who delivers short-format training (workshops, boot camps, short-courses, etc.) – often on new and quickly evolving topics – in the life sciences. Community-of-practice involves establishing forums for these trainers to share their knowledge, resources, and expertise, develop and promote standards for training, open educational resources, and establish the role of trainer as a vital position within the life science community. 

Key activities of this group include:

Why we exist  – What are the challenges and opportunities that lead to this community’s formation


  1. No matter how much the training behind a degree is updated and improved, the shelf-life of skills is getting shorter in a rapidly changing, more interdisciplinary world. As a result, many life scientists and life science educators find they lack access to the training and skills they need to deliver the best quality research and education. 
  2. Short-format training has been used extensively in the life sciences. Evidence and collective experience show that short-format training has challenges in achieving sustained learning, and we have difficulty understanding the long-term impact of this form of training. Because topics evolve quickly, it is difficult for us to iterate our materials and direct their sustained improvement. 
  3. We typically fail to create organizational structures (e.g. professional societies, journals) that could unite efforts, promote excellence amongst these trainers, or result in professional recognition and career paths. 


  1. Community-of-practice has been shown to develop and raise the level of professional excellence. 
  1. There is a vibrant community of professionals with expertise in the life sciences and other educational and research domains who have been delivering training, but these individuals have not previously been organized into a global community of practice. Our focus on individual practitioners aims to draw attention to these individuals and to amplify the power a community can yield. Demand for training for life science students and professionals is high and it is likely that short format training (because of its agileness and flexibility) will be a primary mode of skill acquisition. Scientists and learners would likely demand the highest-quality training if there were consensus standards that identify and distinguish this training. 
  1. Technology enables formation of communities of practice at low cost and with high levels of equitable access

LifeSciTrainers Code of Conduct

LifeSciTrainers is an unincorporated association of community members who deliver short-format training (workshops, boot camps, short-courses, etc.) in the life sciences. We associate in order to share resources, advice, and conversation – all in the service of improving our teaching and our careers.

We establish the following Code of Conduct to promote a community of practice that values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We also cite The Carpentries Code of Conduct which we have borrowed from here. 

Responsible behavior of community members 

Everyone making use of LifeSciTrainers (e.g. slack channel, blog, media and events) are community members as defined in our Governance.

All community members are expected to conduct themselves in a way that is respectful and professional.

The primary purpose of all activities of LifeSciTrainers is the promote community of practice amongst those who deliver short-format training in the life sciences. Any activities which are not related to this purpose are discouraged. If anyone is not sure if an activity is related, they can solicit a response from the Steering Committee ( 

Unacceptable behavior

The following are examples of unacceptable behavior within the LifeSciTrainers community:

No community member may engage in any of these unacceptable behaviors. As per the LifeSciTrainers Governance any community member engaging in said behaviors may be given a warning and/or banned from participation, membership and all use of LifeSciTrainers activities, forums, and resources.

As per the LifeSciTrainers Governance code of conduct violations are handled by the Steering Committee. 

LifeSciTrainers Commitment to Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity 

LifeSciTrainers values the principles of equity, inclusion, and diversity. We have an obligation to educate ourselves and others on how these principles can be promoted in our community, and to act on what we learn to constantly improve how our community reflects these values. 

LifeSciTrainers Governance


This document is intended to set an initial set of ground rules for a Steering Committee for the LifeSciTrainers ( community. The LifeSciTrainers community is an unincorporated association with no legal identity, financial assets, or fiduciary responsibility. Once approved, all members of the Steering Committee agree to abide by these rules. It is the sole right of the Steering Committee to adopt changes to these rules. These rules shall be reviewed by the Committee at least annually. 

Mission and purpose of the Steering Committee

The mission of the Steering Committee is to promote the development of a community of practice for all individuals who deliver short-format training (i.e. workshops, boot camps, short-courses, etc.)  to students, learners, and professionals working in the life sciences.

The Steering Committee fulfills its mission by promoting activities that develop community of practice amongst individuals who choose to associate themselves with LifeSciTrainers. These activities include 

  1. facilitating communication and knowledge exchange (e.g. talks, meetups, learning materials, slack channel, and other related activities).
  2. Raising awareness and promoting LifeSciTrainers, for example through, talks and presentations, etc.
  3. Collecting input from individuals who choose to associate themselves with LifeSciTrainers (e.g. community surveys, discussions, polls) reporting on this input (e.g. through blog posts, social media, publications), developing recommendations from this input, and fostering additional volunteerism from LifeSciTrainers community.
  4. Coordination in grant funding efforts to support change of culture within and across institutions, communities, and countries.

Composition of the Steering Committee

The initial Steering Committee for LifeSciTrainers is an all-volunteer group consisting of the following individuals: 

All Steering Committee members agree to abide by the LifeSciTrainers community Code of Conduct

  1. These individuals serve at-will and all their contributions to the community are their personal voluntary efforts. The actions of these individuals are their own, and their statements represent their own personal opinions. 
  2. As a Steering Committee, statements made by the Committee represent how their volunteer efforts will be directed, and report on their findings and understandings of opinions of the larger set of individual community members.
  3. The Steering Committee shall serve for a term of one-year from the adoption of this governance document. For whatever reason, and at whatever time, an individual member may choose to resign from their position on the committee. Currently, membership on the Committee is by self-nomination of community members followed by assent to the initial committee. This may be revisited as the community matures.

Meetings and Decision making by the Steering Committee

  1. The Steering Committee shall meet quarterly, at least 4 times per calendar year. These meetings shall generally be virtual. Every effort shall be made to choose a time where all members can attend. No meeting of the Steering Committee shall be held with less than two-thirds of its members in attendance. Minutes of these meetings shall be made available publicly. 
  2. All Steering Committee decisions (e.g. decision on meeting times, blog posts, statements of position or policy) are by unanimous consensus. If there is no consensus, any Steering Committee member may ask the Committee to vote, and a vote shall be conducted with each member voting (in-person, virtually, or by email) and the position of the majority of Committee members shall be adopted.
  3. All Steering Committee decisions (e.g. decision on meeting times, blog posts, statements of position or policy) are by unanimous consensus. If there is no consensus, any Steering Committee member may ask the Committee to vote, and a vote shall be conducted with each member voting (in-person, virtually, or by email) and the position of the majority of Committee members shall be adopted.
  4. Steering Committee members may develop talks and presentations intended to raise awareness of LifeSciTrainers. These materials shall be made publicly.
  5. Steering Committee members may not commit to engaging anyone (including the Steering Committee) or any resources associated on behalf of the LifeSciTrainers community without their explicit consent. This includes collaboration with other organizations or applications and/or agreements of any kind.

Membership and engagement within the LifeSciTrainers Community 

  1. Membership with the LifeSciTrainers community is informal. Anyone who has signed up for the LifeSciTrainers slack channel, signed on to the Trainers Registry, contributed a blog post, shall have identified themselves as a member of the community.
  2. All members of the LifeSciTrainers community shall abide by the Code of Conduct. Members that do not abide by the Code of Conduct shall be subject to a warning and or a ban from any/all activities and communication channels associated with LifeSciTrainers.
  3. Community members come together through LifeSciTrainers for the purpose of building a professional community of practice. Members should refrain from using any of the resources of LifeSciTrainers (e.g. blog posts, slack channel, events, etc.) for purposes that do not relate to this goal.
  4. There shall be no activity that makes use of community members or their information in order to generate profit or any commercial financial benefit. Members may remove themselves and their personal information from the community upon request and the Steering Committee will be responsible for ensuring reasonable compliance with all such requests.
  5. The Steering Committee shall adjudicate any Code of Conduct violations and their decision on any Code of Conduct matter shall be final subject to the following:
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