Training is a major challenge to provide biologists with the current capabilities needed to use bioinformatics tools in the analysis of their data, and to enable bioinformaticians to improve their skills and keep up with developments in the field.
The IFB-core and the platforms work together to provide IFB users (biologists, biomedical and bioinformaticians) with a training offer that takes into account the wide diversity of needs and expectations:
- diversity of computer skills (no command line experience, occasional use, familiar, program a little)
- specific courses on new technologies or on biological applications (e.g. NGS, long reads, metabolomics...)
- generic methodological skills (statistics, good programming practices, etc.)
- advanced use of IT technologies (HPC, virtualisation, cloud computing, interoperability, FAIR practices, integrative bioinformatics...)
- good training practices (pedagogical approaches, reuse of materials, etc.)
To this end, the IFB is developing a fully integrated technical infrastructure to support the training, depending on the following components:
- a network of trainers identified in the resource catalogue (A1.4)
- training events in various formats (short and medium term)
- various media and training resources (static training material, videos, MOOCs...)
- various training environments: web servers, stand-alone applications with user-friendly interfaces, command lines, specific packages (e.g. R for statistics), virtual machines, Jupyter notebooks, containers with training software (e.g. Galaxy training container)
- a powerful and flexible infrastructure allowing practical training courses sometimes based on large storage and calculation capacities (e.g. NGS analysis, structural bioinformatics…)
- feedback mechanisms (satisfaction surveys, questionnaires at the end of each training course and 6-12 months later to assess the impact of the training on professional practice)
The impact and quality of IFB training will be systematically monitored and evaluated in order to regularly adapt the training programmes to the users' expectations and to the evolution of the field (see WP5, "Implementation of the quality management system").