About the CONP

What is the CONP?

The Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) provides an infrastructure for the promotion of open-science workflows and the sharing of neuroscience data. This platform brings together many of the country’s leading scientists in basic and clinical neuroscience to form an interactive network of collaborations in brain research, interdisciplinary student training, international partnership, clinical translation, and open publishing. The CONP aims to propel Canada’s basic and clinical neuroscience communities into a new era of commonly shared, digitally integrated, data- and algorithmic-rich neuroscience research.

What does the CONP do?

The CONP supports Canada’s basic neuroscience and clinical neuroscience research communities to:

The CONP supports researchers from a range of different disciplines and communities including neuroimaging, neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, and aging. 

What is Open Science?

Open Science is a growing movement which aims to make scientific research and data accessible to everyone. Open Science is an umbrella term which covers the open dissemination of data, manuscripts, software, materials, methodologies and other outputs scientists produce in their research. Open Science also aims to make the scientific process more transparent and accessible.

Why is Open Science important?

Open Science is widely considered to be beneficial for scientists, patients, and the public at large and is strongly supported by a broad cross-section of entities including UNESCO and WHO, as well as different levels of the Canadian government. Its advantages include:

How can Open Science help Neuroscience?

Many challenges in the field of neuroscience may be helped by adopting open-science practices. Sharing research findings and outputs openly can move things along more quickly to find answers to many key questions in neuroscience. There is a critical, unmet clinical need for treatments for many brain-related illnesses, in particular neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Open Science can help drive discovery of therapeutics for these diseases, helping to find innovative solutions more quickly.

The CONP Platform: the First Four Years and Looking Ahead

Professor Alan C. Evans reflects on the first four years of the Canadian Open Neuroscience Platform (CONP) in this November 2021 Brain Canada video. Professor Evans salutes Brain Canada for showing “… a lot of vision in committing to the idea of open science and funding the CONP …” to build a large-scale, national effort to reduce the barriers to open data-sharing and open workflows in the Canadian neuroscience community, both of which are key to pioneering research programs and accelerating discovery.

Dr. Evans also noted the importance of the next generation of neuroscientists in this process, looking upon their comfort with open science and data sharing with envy: “I really wish I could start over again now.”

How do I get involved with the CONP?

If you are interested in accessing or sharing data, you can find more information on the Data Portal FAQ.

If you are interested in joining as a partner or collaborator, please email us at: media@conp.ca


How is the CONP funded?

The CONP receives funding from a Brain Canada Platform Support Grant Competition Award in addition to funds and in-kind support from sponsor organizations. These include Irving Ludmer Family Foundation, McGill/MNI Tanenbaum Open Science Institute, Fonds de Recherche du Québec, Ontario Brain Institute/Rotman Research Institute, École Polytechnique, Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal, Western University, McLaughlin Centre/University of Toronto, Université Laval, University of Calgary, Douglas Hospital Research Foundation, Human Brain Project, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Concordia University, Dell/EMC, IBM, Compute Canada and Quebec Bio-Imaging Network. 

How is the CONP organized?

The CONP has three main components:

  1. Administrative structure
  2. Committees
  3. Members

1. Administrative Structure

A central administrative structure exists to carry out the day-to-day project management, coordination, and oversight of the implementation and delivery of the CONP grant. Its members include:

  • Prof Alan Evans, Principal Investigator
  • Jessica Stone, Executive Director
  • Patrick Bermudez, Manager, Education and Training
  • Terry Kaluta, Financial Officer
  • Derek Lo, Webmaster
  • Mary Chin, Administrative Coordinator

In association with the CONP Steering Committee, the administration of the CONP provides scientific, strategic, and operational leadership to CONP activities including:

  • liaising externally with Brain Canada and other national and international organizations such as the INCF
  • managing the network of stakeholders and partners, as well as associated finances
  • project planning, proactively monitoring/reporting progress and resolving issues
  • organizing and supporting the governance of the CONP committees

2. Committees

Steering Committee:

The CONP Steering Committee provides strategic and scientific guidance. It has leadership and oversight of the CONP grant implementation and delivery.

Sub Committees:

  1. The Technical Committee develops and maintains the CONP Portal. Associated work includes data sharing, integration, and partnerships.
  2. The Ethics and Governance Committee supports the CONP Portal and operations through the development of best practice resources to facilitate Open Science research, sharing, and publication.
  3. The Communications Committee focuses on promoting the work of the CONP and Open Science via social media and online forums.
  4. The Publishing Committee has created and developed the innovative new publishing platform, NeuroLibre, and generally promotes the value of rich, comprehensive, living publications as open and reproducible alternatives to traditional papers.
  5. The Training Committee supports the CONP Scholar Program awardees, as well as developing training programs for the next generation of Open Science researchers.
  6. The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee is responsible for designing and implementing initiatives to improve the representation of underserved communities within the CONP’s Open Science mission.
  7. The Operations Committee is charged with work requiring cross-committee collaboration and distinct projects requiring additional facilitation and coordination.

The following diagram provides an overview of the functions of the CONP Committees.

3. CONP Members

CONP members are numerous and diverse (see our Funders and Partners pages).

How do I get involved with the CONP?

For general information, to financially contribute to the CONP as a donor or to collaborate scientifically as a partner organization, please email us at: media@conp.ca

If you would like to share data or pipelines as an individual or organization, please visit the portal at https://portal.conp.ca

For technical assistance or to learn more about the CONP Portal, please visit https://portal.conp.ca/contact_us

If you would like to share notebooks, please visit https://www.neurolibre.org

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