Open Science at the MDC: The ORION Project

The MDC is a partner in the H2020 EU funded ORION project

Open Science is based on the principles of accessibility, transparency, and collaboration. It incorporates issues such as Open Access publishing, responsibly sharing data and analysis, and engaging and actively involving the public in science. The Open Science movement aims to improve the quality of research by altering practices and changing incentives.

The MDC is a partner in the H2020 EU funded ORION project. The aim of the project is to explore and promote Open Science practices which improve the quality of research. Read more here.

The MDC is developing a range of training resources for ORION: workshops, podcasts, how-to videos, booklets, and online platforms. The training will be aimed at making Open Science beneficial, practical, and simple for researchers.

Find out more about our upcoming events and workshops:


The ORION MOOC for Open Science in Life Sciences

The ORION MOOC was run live online between October 21st and December 1st 2019. "I really enjoyed this course, there were a wide range of learning tools, such as videos and articles, and the assignments were interactive. I liked how it was spread out over six weeks, and roughly 2 hours each week meant that you could fully focus on that week's content, rather than being overwhelmed by too much content. Overall, I am very pleased and I fell it has helped my understanding". Lucy Wust (MOOC Participant).

The MOOC will run again in early 2020, email to be alerted when enrollment opens. 

Watch the trailer here.

Key Areas

  • Funder Training –Providing research-funding organisation with knowledge and practical guidance to help increase the understanding and implementation of Open Science principles in research funding.
  • Offline/Face-to-face Training – A series of workshops across Europe where organisers will provide a full day training for post-graduate researchers and post-docs on incorporating Open Science Principles into day-to-day Life Sciences research practice.
  • Online Training – Platform and digital media which allow researchers and other interested stakeholders to learn more about Open Science principles in the Life Sciences.



The aim of the ORION training is to raise awareness of Open Science as an alternative way to engage with academic research in the life sciences and provoke a culture change in day-to-day practices. In order to do this effectively, innovative, engaging, and low-burden training techniques and materials need to be developed. These will range from face-to-face workshops to an online training platform to online materials such as videos, podcasts, and guides.

Concept and Pedagogy

The underlying concept behind how the training will be developed is that the in-person training and the work on the podcasts will inform the content of the online training. The results of the workshops will reveal the different ways researchers want to include Open Science practices in their day-to-day work. This information will be used to create the personalised quiz. Additionally, the participants in the in-person workshops will be asked to plan and present their ideas on how to include Open Science in their projects. The steps they take will be used to build a step-by-step planning template for the online platform. The podcasts will remain available so they can be accessed online and will also reveal issues and solutions, which can be incorporated into the online training.

Therefore, the training uses a responsive, blended learning approach in which the learner influences and leads their own learning journey. The output of the course is linked to research practice. This blended course offers a platform for a peer network which is engaged in the action research cycle that informs current practice. The online course design is personalised, using metrics gathered during the face-to-face sessions, to optimise relevance of the course for the participants so as to increase motivation and to ensure on-going involvement in Open Science approaches.

Open Access

The MDC aims to publish the full text (publishers version or accepted manuscripts) of all MDC and ECRC publications in the repository. Additionally, in order to support the goal of the Helmholtz Open Access policy (60% of all publications should be published as open-access publications by the end of 2020 and 100% from 2025 on) the library has created a central publication fund, which pays the charges for all articles in open access journals (see: conditions).

Full name
Open Responsible Research and Innovation to further Outstanding KNowledge
Main Work Package (WP) for MDC
           WP4: Training
WP4 Leader at MDC
           Dr Luiza Bengtsson
Training Developer for ORION at MDC
           Dr Emma Harris
3.157.301,25 €
Grant Agreement Number
4 years
Official start
1st May 2017