F. Make the Bicycle Principles actionable for funders


Those providing financial resources for SFT should ensure they get the most value for their investment.

Funders, academic, and industry institutions can have a pivotal role in the implementation of the Bicycle Principles. The long-term and forward-looking vision of funders and organizations are compatible with the long-term process of helping the larger scientific community increase the value it places on inclusive, career-spanning learning and professional development. Those who fund SFT will need convincing and a clear path to make the Bicycle Principles part of their policies and strategic planning.

How might this work:🚲

Funders and organizations would need to decide their role in implementation of the Bicycle Principles which could include providing incentives for their implementation (e.g., funding research, implementation trials), and promoting standards (e.g., establishing funding criteria for proposed SFT, requiring grants involving SFT to develop training plans). Stakeholders would have to work together to establish priorities and roles (professional societies and communities of practices such as proposed in recommendation A could play a role in this). Funders and organizations would need to determine to what extent they support the principles and which implementations they consider achievable within the context of their missions and remits. The implementation of FAIR principles for the benefit of scientific data management provides several examples of how funders and organizations could help move the larger scientific community towards implementation by promoting the development of consensus, supporting evaluation and research of implementation, and setting regulation 1.

Benefits to the learners:🚲

  1. If funders and organizations promote standards for SFT, the quality of SFT available to learners will increase.
  2. In their role as learners, scientists generally approach SFT as a means to solve an immediate skill or knowledge gap, especially at earlier career-stages. They may have little influence over the long-term direction of their field and the resources that will be available to prepare them for future learning needs. Learners will benefit if funders and organizations plan for career-spanning needs of learners.

Incentives to implementers:🚲

For Funders and Organizations

  1. The Bicycle Principles can be used to increase effectiveness and inclusiveness of SFT while promoting its sustainability.
  2. The Bicycle Principles can better position SFT to address discipline-wide skill and knowledge gaps and promote culture change as disciplines integrate new practices (e.g., open science, research rigor and reproducibility).
  3. If adoption of the Bicycle Principles leads to the more efficient deployment of effective SFT, funders may realize cost savings and efficiency increases that allow more money to be spent on research, rather than ineffective or redundant training 2.

Barriers to implementation:🚲

  1. Funders and organizations will need to be convinced of the efficacy of the Bicycle Principles.
  2. Funders and organizations may need to establish community buy-in.
  3. Funders and organizations will need to determine to what extent implementation falls within their remit and what resources are available to expend on implementation.

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  1. Margreet Bloemers, Annalisa Montesanti; The FAIR Funding Model: Providing a Framework for Research Funders to Drive the Transition toward FAIR Data Management and Stewardship Practices. Data Intelligence 2020; 2 (1-2): 171–180. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/dint_a_00039

  2. Feldon, D. F., Jeong, S., Peugh, J., Roksa, J., Maahs-Fladung, C., Shenoy, A., & Oliva, M. (2017). Null effects of boot camps and short-format training for PhD students in life sciences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(37), 9854-9858. doi:10.1073/pnas.1705783114