Sir James Murray OCN Champions Program

Calling all undergrad and grad students with experience in organic chemistry!  We are seeking advocates to champion and lead projects in the SGC Open Chemical Networks (OCN) initiative. 

About OCN

OCN aims to foster collaboration among scientists and researchers with the goal of working together towards inventing new and openly available chemical probes, leading to new biology and disease mechanism discoveries. This partnership will link the global chemistry community with the biology and biochemistry expertise of SGC, leading to the synthesis of new bioactive small molecules and the characterization of molecular function. 
All the work conducted within OCN will be open and patent-free. Visit the OCN Terms of Use/Participation and see the Frequently Asked Questions webpage for the details. Open and inclusive chemistry models conducted on an international scale improves the public good - better science leads to better chemical tools.

Crowdsourcing Pioneer – Sir James Murray 

Oxford professor, Sir James Murray, understood the value in recruiting contributors to assist the creation of a large-scale undertaking – creating the Oxford English Dictionary. In the spirit of the original crowdsourcing pioneer, the OCN is also seeking contributions from a network of student champions, realizing that a project of this scale is impossible to complete alone. 
Student champions are vital to the success of OCN and are essential to building momentum for the project, acting as supporters and advocates, expanding the OCN community. The more contributors involved in OCN, the more successful this initiative will be in the discovery of valuable chemical probes and future openly available drug leads. 

Expectations and Responsibilities

The role of the James Murray Champion is voluntary and will involve flexible non-lab work, expected to be approximately a day per month. Champions will acquire valuable experience in managing a dynamic and innovative open science research project and will interact with leading scientists across the globe.
The primary responsibility of the Champion is to keep the on-line project in good order. It is expected that the Champions, physically at various sites across the OCN network, will work closely together, and periodically meet. Training will be provided as part of the work with the SGC community. The key responsibilities of the role are to:

  • maintain an up-to-date project status, on a communally edited wiki page;

  • help with paper writing, which will be carried out using a series of preprints, on which the Champion is expected to be an author;

  • work with the team to verify that new, contributed project data are kept up to date and available;

  • assist with promoting the project (i.e., reaching out to new potential contributors);

  • assist with social media posts of progress and project needs;

  • work with the science team to organize regular research meetings and ensure action items are followed-up.

Key responsibilities in greater detail.

Period of term: one year, renewable.

Reporting to: SGC Head of Chemistry Networks, Matthew Todd, University College London.

Example project:

Application Process

If interested, send a short email (including a brief CV) to

Further Reading

Background - Sir James Student Champions


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