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Express your interest to join the Innovation Sprint 2020

Express your interest

Express your interest to join the Innovation Sprint 2020

Diversity and inclusion

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free, welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone to contribute and work effectively, and to enjoy doing so!

Travel support

We prioritise the provision of travel support to applicants from under-represented communities, who are not able to find other means of support. This includes help with visa application, transportation and accommodation costs and support in ticket/accommodation bookings. If you need travel support, please apply and/or let us know as soon as possible so we can plan and arrange accordingly.

Childcare support

We support babywearing at the Sprint and hope to provide a private feeding area at the event venue. There is an accessible bathroom with baby changing facilities on site.

Venue accessibility

The venue has flat floor access and accessible facilities. Some areas are fitted with an induction loop while others with infrared hearing assistance. There are dedicated disabled parking bays in front of the venue. The closest accommodation with accessible rooms is directly next to the venue (Travelodge).


The Sprint is informal – all participants should wear what they will feel most comfortable in. We only ask that participants refrain from using scented products such as perfumes or heavily-scented lotions, as other participants could be allergic to those.

At the Sprint

  • Lunch and daytime refreshments will be provided and dietary requirements will be catered for. There will be time allocated for lunch on the event schedule, but participants are free to eat and drink whenever they prefer and snacks and refreshments will be available throughout the days.
  • There will be a quiet room for all participants who wish to spend some quiet time in private at any point during the event.
  • Photos and videos will only be taken with explicit permission from each participant.
  • There will be gender-neutralbathrooms at the event venue.
  • The event as well as all communications and outputs will be in English.


Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all attendees, including organisers, of the eLife Innovation Sprint, both online and in-person regarding activities in relation to the event. This code also details steps for reporting unacceptable behaviour. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

The organisers of the eLife Innovation Sprint are committed to providing a harassment-free work environment for everyone regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or work experience. We do not tolerate any form of harassment towards participants or staff. Sexual language and imagery will not be appropriate at this professional event. Sprint participants who violate these rules may be sanctioned or expelled at the discretion of the conference organisers without any pecuniary reimbursement.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion or work experience.
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other interactions
  • Uninvited physical contact
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

Anything that makes someone feel uncomfortable could be deemed harassment. For more information and examples about what constitutes harassment, please refer to OpenCon’s Code of Conduct in Brief and the Gathering for Open Source Hardware’s examples of behaviour.



Participants (including organisers) asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, event organisers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes warning the offender or expulsion from the event without pecuniary reimbursement.

Event organisers may take action to redress anything designed to disrupt, or with the clear impact of disrupting, the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues (including online) and event-related social activities.



If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible. Harassment and other Code of Conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

You can make a report either personally or anonymously. All reports will be handled with discretion. Detailed reporting procedures and personnel will be communicated closer to the event.


Local services

Our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement or local support services, to provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

Useful contact information:

  • In the event of an emergency, dial 999 for police, fire or ambulance services. Where possible, please consult with venue staff or event organisers first.
  • Dial 101 for assistance with non-emergency situations by Cambridgeshire police.
  • The nearest sexual assault referral centre is in Peterborough. Dial 0800 193 5434 for its helpline (open 24 hours).
  • Panther Taxis serve the local area. Book online or dial 01223 715715.



For questions about codes of conduct, we recommend you check the Code of Conduct FAQ.



This Code of Conduct is based on the example anti-harassment policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers (CC0) and the OpenCon 2017 Code of Conduct (CC-BY OpenCon organisers, SPARC and Right to Research Coalition).


About the eLife Innovation Sprint

What is the #eLifeSprint?

Two days, 60 people, different skill sets, working together to prototype new ideas to bring cutting-edge technology to open research . The 2019 Sprint takes place September 4–5 in Cambridge, UK.


What is it NOT?

It’s not an overnighter, at the weekend and it doesn’t involve working to win a prize.


What is the problem with science research communication?

To quote Mike Eisen, eLife’s Editor-in-chief: “The [science publishing] system remains slow and insanely expensive. Our addiction to high-impact factor journals poisons hiring and funding decisions, and distorts the research process. And, most frustratingly, the vast majority of the scientific and medical literature remains locked behind paywalls.” Essentially, the current system of communicating research is slow, expensive and ineffective.


How will the Sprint solve these problems?

We cannot fix everything at the Sprint, of course. However, we believe that software development, new product design and collaboration can improve the digital communication of new research. Projects developed at the last Sprint have already showcased new possibilities and sparked discussions within the community.


Wait, what is eLife?

Find out more about us here:


Should I come?

If you:

  • want to help research become more open, transparent, collaborative, efficient and inclusive,
  • are looking for a new challenge to dig into,
  • would like to create testable prototypes that can be developed into v1 products, and/or
  • enjoy meeting lots of interesting people from different backgrounds who work on similar problems

then YES!


I don’t know anything about open science…

Welcome to the open science world! You could bring all sorts of skills, from software and web development to UX design. You will work in groups (most likely with mixed skill sets) and your project leads will discuss ideas and make the best use of your skills.


I’m not a coder…

You could bring your knowledge in the problem space – users and thinkers are equally important for prototyping. We need great ideas for great products.


I was at the Sprint last year – can I apply again?

Of course! Your application will be assessed in the same manner as any other.


Why am I asked to apply?

As much as we would love to accept all applications, we want to create a community of people that can bond together and have a chance to talk to each other. We believe in quality over quantity.


What will I need to do during the application?

We would like you to tell us about your interests, motivations, and skills you’d like to contribute to the Sprint. We’ll be assessing and selecting based on those answers to give us a great mix of people to work together at the event. When it gets tough at the top, we’ll proactively select for under-represented groups in technology such as women and those from BAME backgrounds.

We also ask that you apply as early as possible, especially if you need a visa to visit the UK. This will allow us to anticipate and start the paperwork early.

The projects

Will projects be open source?

Everything we do at eLife is made openly available using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) and MIT licenses. We ask everyone at the Sprint to agree to work openly and share outputs with permissive licenses. We ❤ open source and open access.

For the developers/designers concerned about ownership of their work at the Sprint – we’ve got you covered. We have a CCLA.


I have a great idea that I would like to see turned into reality.

Perfect – share it with us by applying to be a project lead at the Sprint!


Can I work on an existing project?

We are specifically looking for new ideas and testable prototypes . If your existing project is currently in beta, or you’re looking to develop a new feature on something existing, convince us in your application that your project would benefit from being worked on at the Sprint. If your project is already mainstream and you want to chip away at some issues, this probably isn’t the right place.

Supporting your participation

Will eLife pay for my travel costs?

At this point, we estimate we can support ~15–20 people travelling from outside the UK for hotel and flights. We’re asking participants coming from supportive organisations to fund themselves, so we can focus our support on those with the greatest needs. Let us know if this is you via the application form.


Will the event be accessible to me?

We seek to host an accessible and inclusive event – please let us know if you have any specific requirements via the application form.


Do you have a Code of Conduct?

Yes, and we’re serious about it

Other questions?

Please feel free to email Emmy at