GOSH Nodes / GROLScH / Collaborative Production Events: Full Proposal

Hi all -

This idea of collaborative production events, or satellite events, or node events, or whatever you want to call them, is building steam. We are preparing applications for funding 2018 GOSH, and we hope to fund these additional events in the same proposal.

The intent is that the below text (or parts of it) is integrated into the 2018 GOSH funding proposal. So let’s put some effort into it!

It needs your additions, deletions, revisions, comments, thoughts, and general 2 cents.

I’m drafting it to get it going, and I do have opinions, but it is not mine. So if you’re passionate about this stuff, please make it yours and in the process make it better :slight_smile: There are some important missing components and places where discussion is really needed. I put a few comments in-line using ` ` so it looks like this.

This is a wiki post, so you can edit it directly or just post comments/thoughts below in the thread.

@nanocastro @juanmagararc @dusjagr @gaudi @kaspar @biomakers_lab @goldjian @punkish cc’ing you cause you replied to previous thread.


–> here we go!

Proposal to create GOSH Nodes

suggestions on a name?... I heard that Urs came up with this and I like it. But maybe a better descriptive term would be 'Collaborative Production Events' or more fun would be GROLSH... what do you think?


A core goal of the GOSH movement is to make all scientific hardware open. Our yearly GOSH conference is focused on connecting, inspiring, and planning, but most of the work happens once the conference is complete.

The goal of GOSH Nodes is to support the hard work of brainstorming, designing, prototyping, making, evaluating, and calibrating open science hardware and technology. A GOSH Node is not about marketing or networking - the main conference (and other aligned conferences) already serve that role. GOSH Nodes should produce a specific output which requires the real and sustained effort of a team. But hardware is… hard! Parts ordering, circuit board design, validation against current equipment / methods all take days and weeks and require several iterations to produce a useful outcome.

Therefore, the Hackathon model used for software of 1 - 4 days workshops will not achieve our goals. GOSH Nodes should be weeks or even months of sustained collaborations. That means GOSH Nodes should consider the needs of participants across those time periods: food, housing, childcare, pay, etc…

Anyone who attended a main GOSH event can apply to create a Node. This decentralizes the leadership of GOSH while also expanding participation in GOSH.

Similarly, anyone who attended a main GOSH event can vote to select which Nodes are funded. This decentralizes the power so even those not running events are part of the process.

In short - GOSH Nodes are an engine for our shared output. As a community, we identify the vision, map how to move forward, fund the projects we find compelling, and do equitable and fair work with people we love.

An Example

Imagine there are 8 applications to run a Node. Each has a different goal, partners, timelines (some 2 weeks, some 3 months), and funding requirements (maybe from $2,000 up to $25,000). Some may be partially funded through other partners (university, business, crowd-funding campaigns, etc.) to lower costs. Let’s assume the GOSH community has a pot of money to fund applications (maybe $50,000). GOSH attendees vote by rank-ordering projects based on how they feel the projects progress our communities intentions: the Manifesto, Roadmap and Values. Using ranked choice voting or whatever voting system is best, the highest vote getting projects are funded. I’d suggest heavy oversight of funding should be avoided. It adds management overhead and makes payment in cash-driven countries more complicated. In addition, we all personally know the applicants and a community voting process should help eliminate wasteful or unnecessary spending. Finally, we need to respect the communities ability to produce intelligent outcomes and learn from mistakes over time.

Application example NOTE! this isn’t a real application so don’t apply here or something! just I wrote it out to get feedback and make sure we had the right questions efficiently stated. Seeing an applications also helps clarify the details of the idea.

Application to create a Node


The goal of GOSH Nodes is to support the hard work brainstorming, designing, prototyping, making, evaluating, and calibrating open science hardware and technology.

Application Process

Applications are rolling, but are voted on by the community 4 times per year. For any given application cycle, applications are closed 4 weeks prior to voting. Once applications are closed, the community has 3 weeks to review and comment on proposals through the GOSH forum. During that time, applicants can respond to comments and update their proposals. At the end of 3 weeks, applications are locked and the community has 1 week to cast their votes, using rank-order voting. At the end of that week, the funded applications are announced. We all want to see each other be successful. This helps people improve their plan, identify partners or even add alternative funders. Equate this to open peer review - the goal is not to select the best - instead it's to help everyone be the best they can possibly be


  1. The main applicant (responsible party) must have attended a past main GOSH conference.
  2. The Node must produce a specific product, design, technology, process or method.
    ok - examples will help explain what I mean. So here's what I see as working: if you narrow down as scientific method (wet chem method), create a prototype, output a hardware design, etc. What I see as not counting: output an outline of discussions or general plan of actions. I think there is need for discussion of what we're talking about, and I know I'm not considering all possibilities. I think keeping these events as work-focused and output-focused to me is very important, but I'm open to the definition of work and output.
  3. A Node must be at least 1 week of full time work for at least two participants.
  4. The output must be well documented and under a non-restrictive license (copyleft, GPL v3, MIT and similar are ok, licenses which prevent commercial use not ok).
  5. The conference must be organized according to GOSH Values
    I know that Jenny and Shannon are on this... so GOSH Values include the Code of Conduct and diversity components for participants (for conferences we required 50% women/gender non-conforming, etc.)... this requires some discussion as well. These Nodes are fundamentally different than the main conference in that they will be much more local - so requiring 50% non-white participation for a Node in Sweden with collaborators from the same city may not make a lot of sense. However, the 50% women requirement does make sense anywhere. I think this needs more discussion and is really important for maintaining coherence and growing the movement without losing the culture and the things which have served us so well

Suggestions for applicants

  1. Include a facilitator and documentarian. These are under-represented but crucial roles.
  2. Describe how you will prepare pre-Node to ensure your maximizing your effectiveness during the Node. For example… if you have 10 week lead-time parts, get them ordered ahead of time!
  3. Ideally, you should identify all your partners before applying. While not a requirement, it’s strongly suggested. The more you have clearly defined, the more likely people will believe you can be successful.
  4. Travel is not required (virtual work is possible), but is suggested. It will help the work team more efficiently make decisions and stay focused on the project’s goal.

Background (200 words)

Use this to describe the problem and your motivation to solve it.

What will you output (200 words)

Must be a product, design, technology, process or method. Be specific and clear.

Project details (500 words)

Explain how you’ll do the work, and overall strategy to produce the output

How work relates to GOSH (200 words)

Explain how this work progresses the GOSH Roadmap and GOSH Manifesto. Specifically, how does the output lead to the creation and expansion of open science hardware?

Video pitch (<2 minutes)

A short video pitching your project - include the problem to be solved, the output, the team, and why others should care!


Who is the responsible party?
This person receives the money and reports on results. Includes short bio and space to provide details on their background, skills, etc.

Who is on the work team?
Includes short bio and space to provide details on their background, skills, etc.

Are you seeking additional team members?
If so, state what skills/experiences/etc needed and how you think you’ll get them

Upload any letters or sources confirming participation of team members
Ideally the letters should reference the specific dates, times, and pay rates from this application.


What tools/space/material do you need?
Do you have everything you need with your existing partners?
If no, explain where and how you will get it.

Work Team Support

Where will the Node work?
Where will the work team sleep?
Where will the work team eat?
Other specific accommodations for the work team.

  • Childcare
  • Support for persons with disabilities
  • Non-work events / activities
  • other

Upload any letters or sources confirming any/all of the above.
Ideally the letters should reference the specific dates and times from this application.


Start Date

End Date

Expected work hours
Is the work team working full time, part time, etc?


Outline a budget. Be as specific as possible. If you are paying the work team, provide their rates and expected hours.


Maybe “GOSH Hack Weeks” to make clear the similarity to, but also difference from, hackathons and hackdays?

1 Like

@gbathree does GROLSH stand for something?

@dusjagr that’s a Marc question :slight_smile: I can’t remember.

Probably something to do with coconuts then.

1 Like

GROLScH - Global Residencies for Open and Local Science Hardware.

Seems that c is coming in everywhere.

just came back from my trip to Sumatra (indonesia), Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, discussing with various potential partners about the above mentioned ideas. let me summarize it all soon.
still travelling and will have time to reflect and write by next week.


Firstly, Fora Temer.


Maybe some of this values should be guaranteed priory voting, for exemple: 51% of the projects should be running by a women, or 30% should be running on developing countries, etc.

We should also discuss what to do when there isn’t enough submissions from these aspects (or if there too bad), or when there are not reasonable ( “local participants will be mostly from the same country”).

How will we check if the output is really open? That was properly documented?
I suggest we centralize this documentation (on this forum, maybe), at least the links for the documentation, and that we determine an extra time for documentation, after the end of the node (2/3 of the total time of the node?).

I also think we should ask for a video explaining the output (1 min), videos are more sharable, will help us spread the word of GOSH :sunrise_over_mountains:

@marinappdf yes the values discussion is really important.

It didn’t occur to me that the values should be applied to the voting, though I see where you’re coming from there and I see that the selection process should be representative of the community and of the community we’re aspiring to be.

It seems to me that organizers’ primary mechanism to uphold GOSH values is through the selection process of those attending the main event (which includes 50% women/gender non-conforming, 33% local country, etc. etc.). With those rules in place we really have very little discretionary control, especially now that those rules are set, without community input IMO. This selection process to the main GOSH event is our primary ‘lever’ to maintain continuity and the culture within the community. But my feeling is that the community, which has been selected through an equitable process, is then responsible as equal members to make the best choices. So in short - because it was selected with consideration for equity and context, I guess I trust that group to make the right decisions with appropriate consideration for context and equity.

I do think we could support better voter decisionmaking by highlighting those elements we think are important as separate questions in the project submission (like projects run by a woman, for example) so that the voting members of the community can quickly identify those elements.

A robust discussion on this is needed, hopefully @jcm80 and @shannond and others will jump in here as well.

I’ll add the 1minute video to the wiki post - I think that’s also a great idea. It shouldn’t feel complicated for the applicant (you can put hours and hours into 1 minute of video if you think it’s makes a difference) but video has many advantages.

1 Like

I stand for “GOSH Hack Weeks”!


HI all, thanks Greg @gbathree for this great proposal
I have a question regarding the possible outputs… Can a node build something like an infrastructure? The output being: equipped lab(s), curated/translated educational resources and documentation.
The idea here is not to build new hardware but just adapt and replicate already existing hardware. I’m thinking of something similar to a regional (global south, latinoamerica) biohackacademy (maybe this can also be applied to other fields…?)
Already existing labs in the region sharing their knowledge and helping new/incipient labs to choose and build their basic hardware.
I think it can be important for independent organizations (ie. hackerspace expanding to the bio world) and can be seen as a strategy to bring the values imbedded in open hardware into local universities, promoting from an early stage open ways of education and research.
Maybe this kind of proposal should include some additional requirements regarding participants (ie the real existence of a space where the hardware is going to be used, minimum infraestructural requirements, funding for at least one year?..): I think additional funding for this kind of iniciatives can be found around
The idea can be refined but in general lines what do you think of this?
que dicen? @ffederici @biomakers_lab @librepensante.org


Why, of course! This would be very much in the spirit of “making tools that help make tools.” For example, my over-riding personal motivation is not any specific hardware but a lab (a collection of hardware housed in a mobile box/contraption or a room of some sort) filled with appropriate hardware for science, very likely targeted toward environments that are resource constrained in some way.

I say, @nanocastro, bring it on!



Yes, good example which will help us narrow down the concept. What if we say:

Outputs should enable science and research (but not be science and research itself)
Creation of outputs should require at least a week of full time collaboration between at least 2 people

a lab - Setting up, systematizing a lab turns a bunch of objects into a usable tool to produce science and research.
a device - people use it directly to generate science a research.
a method - organizes a bunch of actions or steps to allow others to produce science and research more easily.

In general I would suggest we be easy on edge cases, and let the community decide if an edge case fits the intention. That being said, a lab doesn’t feel like an edge case, it feels like a perfect fit :slight_smile:



Let’s just do a quick poll for shits and giggles. So far here’s the proposed names…

Any more ideas to throw into a poll?

GOSH Hack Weeks
GROLScH - Global Residencies for Open and Local Science Hardware
… ?

You probably already know about this, but do you mean something in the likes of bentolab? https://www.bento.bio/

GOSH Hack Weeks <— sensible but boring

Nodes <— sounds like a programming language or a disease, like when my node gets blocked because of a code, sdifff, sdiff

GROLScH - Global Residencies for Open and Local Science Hardware <— fun but nonsensical and contrived. Also, a Dutch beer.

For s&g, of course

Yes, yes, and more (adding … because discourse insists a post must be at least 20 characters)

I agree with you @nanocastro. I think some regions like Latin America could work on a single output, it could be more meaningful. Some people can get funding from universities or government. GOSH coordination team should be the legal support for applying to these local resources. Sometimes it’s difficult to find money if you are an independent space/lab without an international support.

1 Like

My earlier suggestion was the following… @biomakers_lab do you feel like this fits your criteria and if not how could it be adjusted?

1 Like

@gbathree yes, it fits.

Hey all, sorry I’ve been hoping that clear funding would come through for this which is why I haven’t followed up / posted more but so far we do not have secured funding for this. I think this is an exciting idea that puts the power directly in the hands of the community. If anyone knows of possible funding sources for an idea like this please post them here!!!

1 Like