FOSTER Project: Open science training in Europe

EIFL leads training in this major European Union initiative to increase researchers’ knowledge and skills in open science

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Representatives of the Foster project standing outside a workshop venue.
Representatives of FOSTER Plus partners at the project launch meeting in Portugal in May 2017. FOSTER Plus is the second phase of the FOSTER Project, and continues until April 2019.


European Union (EU) Member States and the European Commission (EC) have taken a number of steps to ensure that research and innovation are more aligned with social needs.

Among these was initiation of the FOSTER (Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research) Project. The FOSTER Project encourages the use of open science, a research model that makes research more visible and accessible, exposing results to wider analysis and allowing researchers to re-use results for new discoveries.

There are two phases of the FOSTER Project. EIFL’s involvement, in leading, coordinating and contributing to training, spans both phases.

The first phase, known as the FOSTER Project, ended in August 2016. The project supported research stakeholders in Europe, especially young researchers, to adopt open access (OA) and to comply with OA policies and rules for implementation of the EU’s flagship 80-billion Euro funding programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (H2020). The FOSTER Project succeeded in putting in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to foster open science in their daily workflows.

The second phase, titled FOSTER Plus, started in May 2017 and ended in April 2019. FOSTER Plus focused on the practical implementation of open science in Horizon 2020. Over the two years, 11 FOSTER Plus project partners from all over Europe collaborated on the creation of training and e-learning activities on OA, open data and open science. FOSTER Plus targeted academic staff, young scientists and policy-makers.

You can find out more about the FOSTER Plus partners and EIFL’s involvement here.


The FOSTER Project’s main activities centred on integrating OA, open data and open science principles and practices into research workflows by providing training for young researchers.

EIFL contributed to the FOSTER Project by -

  • Leading and coordinating training activities
  • Facilitating development of e-learning courses
  • Developing training materials


1 February 2014 - 30 April 2019.


During the FOSTER Project -

  • A Toolkit for Training Sessions was developed. The toolkit offers tested and proven guides for organizing different kinds of training events for four key audiences: academic staff (researchers) and students; institutions (administrators and librarians); research project managers, and policy-makers and staff working in funding bodies.  The kinds of  training events described include panel discussions, talks by experts, workshops, e-learning and others.   
  • Over 6,000 participants, mostly young researchers, took part in over 180 training events in 28 European countries.
  • A dozen universities introduced accredited courses on open access, open data and open science for their students. Among the universities are two institutions from EIFL partner countries, Tartu University in Estonia and Kaunas Technical University in Lithuania.
  • FOSTER developed an open science taxonomy, defining and structuring the different components of open science to improve young researchers’ understanding of open science and its benefits. The resulting Open Science Taxonomy Tree - a diagrammatic representation of open science and its various components - has been used to structure the e-learning portal so that it is easy to navigate. The Open Science Taxonomy has been accepted by the  research community (to find out more, see the Open Science Taxonomy tree in Knoth, Petr; Pontika, Nancy (2015): Open Science Taxonomy).


All project publications are available here.