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Mozilla Open Leaders 🦊

Find below my application for Round 4 of the Mozilla Open Leaders mentorship and training program! My project, Resources for Open Science in Astronomy (ROSA), was selected for training and mentoring, I was accepted into Cohort C (#RebelFoxes🦊!) and my mentor was the awesome Bastian Greshake Tzovaras!

Open Project Lead Application (Round 4)

Apply to be an Open Project Lead in our Sept-Nov 2017 round of Mozilla Open Leaders. Read about the program in this blog post:

Applications close August 20th, 2017. All applicants must have proposed a MozFest session in order to be considered.

* Required

Name *

Rachael Ainsworth

Email *

Location *

Manchester, UK

GitHub ID


Twitter ID


Link to your MozFest session proposal *

Link to your MozFest session proposal on Github. You can find your proposal on Github in the confirmation email sent to you by the MozFest team.

Your Project

Tell us about your open project!

Your project doesn't have to be technical — it can be curriculum (open educational resource), an open data project or report, an open source software project, or anything else that:

1. has something to work on (a feature, module, or minimum viable product) during the program,

2. allows and welcomes contributions by others, and

3. supports the open web and a healthy Internet

Project Name *

Resources for Open Science in Astronomy (ROSA)

Project Description * (500 characters)

ROSA aims to compile and tailor open science best practices from around the web into a kit for astronomers to work openly from proposal to publication. ROSA will be written for use by all research levels but its mission is to supply a single resource to senior researchers to best equip them to encourage early career scientists to practice open access/data/source - in order to successfully mentor the next generation of open science practitioners we also need to target those who advise them.

Do you have teammates running the project with you?

If so, please leave their names and contact info here


What problem(s) are you solving with this project? * (500 characters)

Like other scientific fields, the astronomy community can be a closed and stressful environment. Although astronomy has been successful in sharing publications on the open arXiv, data are often hoarded and methods vaguely described, making it difficult to reproduce results and frustrating to build on the research of others. The reasons for this are diverse but one prominent issue is a lack of understanding in the community about HOW to work in an open way. ROSA aims to help solve this problem.

What feature, release, or product can you work on during the program? * (500 characters)

September - November 2017

This project aims to result in two products: a general open science resource kit that can be adapted to any field, and one specifically tailored for astronomy: ROSA. The project will be developed on GitHub so that anyone can contribute resources and tutorials from around the web and it will undergo curation and tailoring to create ROSA. The end product aims to be a well-documented guide on WHY you should research openly and WHAT tools are available around the web to enable this.

How can others join you on this project? * (500 characters)

This project will rely on contributions from the wider community in order to benefit from more diversity and range in input. It will also continuously evolve over time as people use it and more open science tools become available. Not only will the general kit grow over time, but it can also be adapted to suit the needs of different research fields and audiences.

Which area(s) apply to your project?

Select all that apply

Science (

Learning (


Check key Issues if they relate to your project. You can read more about Mozilla's Key Internet Issues here:

Open Innovation

Web Literacy

Working Open

Tell us about your interest working open and being an open leader

Why do you want to work open? *

Open and reproducible research is fundamental to the scientific method. Furthermore, open research practices reap benefits such as increases in citations, media attention, potential collaborators, job and funding opportunities (, however many researchers do not know how to harness these tools - Mozilla does. The Mozilla Open Leaders program will hone my own skills and empower me to become a more collaborative and efficient researcher.

What are you hoping to learn during this program? *

I want to become more proficient at GitHub, strengthen my project management and leadership skills, receive formal open science/research training as everything I know has been self-taught, and grow as an open leader. I want to learn open research practices from data collection/management, to publication, to engaging with the public.

What challenges have you faced working open?

OR what has kept you from working open

I was burnt-out after my first postdoc because I felt claustrophobic in academia and I suffered from a severe case of imposter syndrome. I took time out to improve my own open science skillset and re-energised my enthusiasm for research. My experience motivates me to become more proactive in advancing openness in astronomy in order to stop imposter syndrome from running rampant and prevent incoming researchers from losing their passion to the barriers imposed by closed research practices.

Tell us about yourself

If selected, we'll use this information along with the rest of your application when we make mentor pairings

Technical Skill Level *


Experience Working Open *


GitHub knowledge *



Connectivity *

Are you able to consistently (weekly) attend online video meetings? If you have limited or inconsistent internet connectivity, we'll do our best to provide offline support.


We're offering three options for weekly online video meetings. *

Select all you can attend. If selected, you'll be matched with a mentor who can attend the same meetings as you.

Every Wednesday at 10am ET -

Do you speak any languages other than English? If yes, please list them.



Please subscribe me to the Open Leadership Newsletter

Anything else?

Is there anything else you'd like us to know?

I am an Open Science Champion at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (JBCA) at the University of Manchester. I promote, advocate and organise events relating to open science in astronomy in addition to conducting my own research. Mozilla has the expertise and resources to empower me to be the best Open Science Champion I can be. Support through the Mozilla Open Leaders training program will hone my own skills to help me develop, refine and install an open science agenda at the JBCA, and enable me to effectively teach these skills to others. Together, Mozilla and I can cultivate change in the culture of the astronomy community to be more collaborative, iterative and open which is vital in order to pursue answers to fundamental questions about our Universe and inspire the next generation of researchers in STEM.