Collaborators Wanted | BBSRC Crowdsourcing Call

Last week, we held a workshop for potential Edinburgh-based applicants to the current BBSRC Crowdsourcing Call. The purpose was to provide information about what the call was looking for and to give applicants a chance to meet others who might make valuable additions to their applications. The slides from our guest presenter, Erinma Ochu, can be viewed here.

As it turned out, several researchers attended from non-biological disciplines who would make great additions to the right applications, but none came along who work in the call lead disciplines of biological sciences and biotechnology. It seems a shame for the potential to be wasted, so for those of you who might need another team member, here are some ‘dating profiles’ of our non-bio workshop attendees:

  • Nicola Osborne, EDINA: Nicola is the social media advisor for the EU-funded COBWEB project. This project, which has just started, will allow people who visit Dovey Biosphere in Wales to use mobile devices to collect data to answer specific stakeholder questions. Interoperability of data, authentication of data and users, data correction and quality marking are all areas where Nicola is developing experience.
  • Bastian Boom, University of Edinburgh: Bastian also works on a big EU-funded project, Fish4Knowledge, which is a big data project. A key innovation of this project has been to use automatic algorithms as well as people – i.e. a crowd – to identify images (in this case, fish). Bastion believes this expertise could be applied to other data.
  • Ram Ramamoorthy, University of Edinburgh: Ram is working on an EU Smart Society project. Ram is, as a computer scientist, interested in the science of crowdsourcing as one part of the larger category of social computing. Ram is especially interested in gameification, including how you design incentive mechanisms so that people really do the game and don’t just make up answers in order to get rewards. Ram is keen to design an optimum game for someone.

We were also joined by Ian Edwards from the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. Ian isn’t ready to put in an application to this current call, but does have an interest in doing a project on pollination sometime in the future and is exploring crowdsourcing as a possible approach to this.

If any of the above sound like they might fit with your project, please let Beltane know by emailing You’ll need to act quick – the initial BBSRC deadline is 5th March 2013.