GOBLET: a global network of bioinformatics trainers and trainees

GOBLET is the ‘Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training’. Dr Celia van Gelder was recently elected as a member of the GOBLET Executive Board. She explains what GOBLET is about.

What is GOBLET’s aim?
“GOBLET was established in 2012 by an international group of societies and networks to offer an umbrella for bioinformatics, biocuration, biocomputing and computational biology learning, education, and training. Its mission is to provide a global, sustainable support and networking infrastructure for bioinformatics trainers and trainees (including a training portal for sharing materials, tools, best practice documents, etc.).

GOBLET also facilitates capacity development in bioinformatics in all countries, develops standards and guidelines for bioinformatics education and training, and acts as a hub for fund gathering. In addition, the organisation reaches out to teachers at high schools, to bridge the gap to the next generation of bioinformaticians and it fosters the international community of trainers in this field.”

What has GOBLET achieved so far?
“Since 2012, GOBLET has grown to about 40 member organisations and it has been very active. For instance, it has set up a course portal with course materials and it has forged strategic collaborations with other organisations, including ELIXIR. We have also presented posters at conferences and published papers. In addition, we established Training Poster tracks at conferences such as ISMB and ECCB.

What is the Dutch role in GOBLET?
“The Dutch NBIC was one of the co-founders of GOBLET and the GOBLET foundation is formally registered in the Netherlands. The first official GOBLET meeting was organised by NBIC in Amsterdam in 2012. I have been treasurer in 2013 and Co-Chair of the Learning, Education and Training Committee in the period 2014 to 2016. In the period 2017 to 2019, I will act as treasurer in the executive board again.”

What is the relationship between GOBLET, BioSB, DTL, and ELIXIR?
“Researchers and programmers need training to acquire bioinformatics expertise and this is a global need. Therefore, we are strongly connected with many organisations worldwide that face the same training challenges. In the Netherlands, the DTL learning community identifies training needs and develops new trainings, in collaboration with the DTL partners and the BioSB Research School. ELIXIR-NL (the Dutch node of the European research infrastructure ELIXIR) is co-leading the Training platform of ELIXIR, thus perfectly placed to align the Dutch efforts with European training initiatives. All these organisations collaborate with GOBLET.”

Where can we find out more about GOBLET?
Terri Attwood, the chair of GOBLET, will be a keynote speaker at the BioSB 2017 conference. And of course people can always contact me. You can also read some older news items about GOBLET on the DTL website.

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