Vacancy: The OSCG is looking for a new chair! (0.3 – 0.5 FTE)

Are you passionate about Open Science and would you like to help us to get Open Science into the DNA of the University of Groningen (UG), the University Medical Center Groningen and beyond? Do you like to constructively discuss Open Science related topics on social media and present them to the scientific and general public? Do you enjoy organizing (online) events on Open Science related practices, including lectures and practical workshops? Then we want you as the new chair for the Open Science Community Groningen (OSCG)!

Open Science is a global movement that aims to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society. Open Science practices encompass all teaching materials and the entire research process and create new opportunities for interaction, collaboration and engagement with academic colleagues and societal partners.

The Open Science Community Groningen is founded by and consists of (mostly unpaid) scholars from the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen who aim to facilitate the adoption of open, reproducible and responsible science practices in the aforementioned institutes. Their target group are researchers and students who are open and curious with regards to open science.

For the OSCG we are looking for a chair to spearhead efforts to strengthen the position of the OSCG within the UG and the UMCG. As the Chair of the OSCG your main goals will be:
* to recruit active members within the UG and UMCG,
* to further embed the OSCG within all disciplines of the University of Groningen and the UMCG,
* to initiate and organize educational and social events,
* and to continue the efforts to build a sustainable and diverse community.

Next to this, you will represent the OSCG locally, nationally and internationally (e.g. within the International Network of Open Science & Scholarship Communities (INOSC)). You will take the lead in organizing OSCG activities and invite UG and UMCG staff and other open science scholars to contribute to OSCG events, and will plan and preside over OSCG board- and member meetings. Other activities include writing OSCG newsletters, and promoting OSCG activities on social media. You will collaborate with the Open Science programme leader, Dr. Vera Heininga.

The Open Science Program of the UG and UMCG aims to actively stimulate and facilitate a transparent research and education environment by implementing and practicing the Open Science principles in our academic community. The OSCG plays a vital role as sparring partner and as a consultant on Open Science services in this programme.

Please note: The position of OSCG chair is offered as a (paid) expansion of your current contract with the UG or UMCG and will be between 0.3fte and 0.5fte (negotiable). This means that you can only apply for this position when you already have a contract with the UG or UMCG.

Job requirements
The ideal candidate has:
– The ability to combine their current position (e.g. a PhD contract) at the UG or UMCG with the
tasks of the chair described above
– Affinity with Open Science principles and/or demonstrable understanding of Open Science
– Good organizational skills, can keep a good overview and set priorities
– Good social and networking skills
– Ability to effectively communicate and engage through social media (e.g., Twitter)
– Excellent English oral and written language skills

– First-hand experience with one or more open scholarship practices (e.g., open data, open code,
open access publishing)
– Experience in organizing (online) meetings and events
– Creating and curating content on websites
– Some experience with Slack, Mailchimp and WordPress

What we offer
We offer a challenging role in the OSCG at the UG and UMCG in a young and enthusiastic team for up to 0.5 fte until August 2023. After this period, and with mutual agreement, this role can be renewed for 0.2-0.4 fte, but under the same conditions as described above (i.e., only as an expansion to an already existing contract with the UG or UMCG).

The intended start date is as soon as possible.

Contact info
For more information about this, additional, role in your current contract please contact Ir. Marjan van Ittersum, ass. Open Science programme leader
For more information about the procedure, please contact Ryanka Hazekamp (HR University Library) +31 629056017,

Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

• letter of application
• curriculum vitae

to the following email address:
The application deadline is 29 April 11:59pm / before 30 April 2022 Dutch local time (CET).

Interviews are scheduled in the week of May 8, 2022.
Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Open call for the Open Research Award 2021

Open call for the Open Research Award 2021

We invite you to submit your case study now! 

The University of Groningen Library (UB) and the Open Science Community Groningen launch the 2nd annual Open Research Award. The award celebrates the many ways in which academics make their research more accessible, transparent or reproducible.

600 words on your success or failure to use ‘open’ research practices.

Via this submission form

Now, up until September 1st!

We welcome the submission of no more than 600 words in length that discuss the use of one or more open practices in the conduct of research and/or communication of outputs to achieve specific research aims or solve particular problems.

The case studies ideally explore the challenges of making open choices as well as those that celebrate positive experiences and successful open science practices.  Staff members and students can submit case studies. All submissions will be screened for eligibility by a jury. All eligible cases receive an Open Research Award certificate. In addition, three eligible cases will be randomly drawn by the jury; each of which will receive 500 euros to be used for research material, travel costs etc. For more information check the webpage or contact us via

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Not Just a Pretty Face: Island Poppies Defend With Prickles

PoppyAlthough the vibrant, waifish petals of the poppy may appear inviting to the casual observer, a closer look reveals a pricklier message: Stay away! To discourage plant eaters like insects and birds from biting into their leafy appendages, many plant species protect themselves with defense mechanisms, like tougher leaves, distasteful latex, and armor made of prickles. Developing these defense features is part of a plant’s natural growth throughout its lifetime. Some plants, however, are able to activate additional protection when faced with attacking herbivores. The authors of a recent PLOS ONE paper investigated these defense mechanisms in two species of poppy currently found in Hawaii, where natural herbivores have long been extinct. The authors’ results reveal that island poppies may have more “nettle” in the face of simulated adversity than previously predicted.

The authors chose two species of poppy for testing, Argemone glauca, a species native to Hawaii, and Argemone mexicana, a species originally hailing from the North American continent and a recent inhabitant of the Hawaiian islands. Both species come pre-equipped with permanent features that may function as defense strategies. However, permanent defenses are costly to maintain for a plant: They divert energy away from other functions, like reproduction and growth, and are therefore an energy investment for the plant. To combat the cost of maintaining a full suite of permanent defenses, some plants respond to attacks from plant eaters only when they occur by activating additional defenses, known as inducible defenses. Unlike defense features that develop throughout the course of a plant’s lifetime, also known as constitutive defenses, inducible defenses are not permanent, only prompted by specific need.

In this study, the researchers simulated the need for additional defenses by subjecting the two species to various “attacks” to see how the poppies would respond. Plants were assigned to one of four random treatment groups:

  1. The control group, which received no treatment
  2. The damage group, where the authors clipped off portions of the leaves
  3. The Jasmonic acid group, where researchers sprayed the leaves with a harmful solution that inhibits growth
  4. And the combination group, where authors defoliated plants first and then sprayed them with Jasmonic acid

The researchers then allowed for two new leaves to grow to ensure that the plants had an adequate amount of time to respond.

Although neither species developed additional leaf toughness or produced more natural latex in response to treatments, both species exhibited increased prickle density on new leaves that grew after treatment. To evaluate prickle density, the authors harvested new leaves and counted all the new prickles on the surfaces of the leaves, excluding prickles found along the leaf edge. They also quantified the leaf area and performed statistical analyses to identify patterns in the various groups.

The authors found that Hawaiian native A. glauca responded more intensely to treatment by developing significantly more prickles than its continental North American counterpart, A. mexicana. The authors report that prickles for A. glauca were 20x more dense and 2.7x higher than A. mexicana.

Plant defenses are selected for over time due to snacking pressures from herbivores. On the Hawaii islands, however, natural herbivores of A. glauca, such as flightless ducks and beetles, are now extinct. The lack of natural predators for island plants has given rise to the idea that island plants have ‘gone soft’ over time. The authors consider A. glauca’s robust response to external attacks evidence that island plants may be better defended than previously thought.

Although it may be impossible to determine whether these island defenses have been selected for by herbivores of the past, no longer present, the inducibility of prickles in A. glauca and A. mexicana demonstrates that these poppies have the mettle to fight back against attackers and snackers.

For more on how herbivores and plants interact, check out this EveryONE blog post on snail mucus.

Citation: Hoan RP, Ormond RA, Barton KE (2014) Prickly Poppies Can Get Pricklier: Ontogenetic Patterns in the Induction of Physical Defense Traits. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96796. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096796

Image 1: Agemone glauca by Forest and Kim Starr

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