GOSH Community Website and Forum Development: Request for Proposals

Jenny MolloyGOSH! News, Opportunities Leave a Comment

Project Overview⠀ 

Deadline for proposals: 14 Dec 2020
Contact: goshcommunity@gmail.com
Download RFP (PDF) >>

From microscopes to microfluidics and water quality test equipment, hardware is a vital part of science. However, the current supply chain for science hardware limits access for many groups of people and impedes creativity and customisation. Open Science Hardware (OScH) means sharing designs for scientific hardware openly online that anyone is freely able to use, modify and even commercialize. This approach could drastically reduce the costs of research while enabling people to collaborate and learn in new ways.

The  Gathering for Open Science Hardware community (GOSH) supports OScH by convening meetings such as global and regional GOSH events and providing online forums that democratize research and discussions about the value of research through policy and action. We support our members, many of whom are outside of formal institutions, to scale our collective impact. Examples of our activities include mapping useful tools, resources and people in OScH to maximise the visibility and use of existing initiatives; reaching out to new communities and members; increasing connections between scientific and on-the-ground communities that are already engaged in using science to address issues such as environmental pollution.

We are currently undertaking a project to review and improve GOSH’s community web resources. This RFP is to find a partner who can help us on that journey through web design and development. The focus is on two resources: the GOSH website which is currently built on WordPress (but could change) and the GOSH forum which is built on Discourse.

Link to current website: https://openhardware.science/

Link to forum: https://forum.openhardware.science/⠀ 


The primary website audience are current and prospective members of the GOSH community. We will also have pages that speak to other audiences such as funders but the most important thing is that the website is welcoming to prospective community members and useful and informative for the current community.


GOSH website 

  • Welcome new community members: explain what open science hardware is, who the GOSH community are and how to get involved.
  • Direct visitors to specific communities e.g. regional like Latin American regosh group and topic-based like neuroscience.
  • Enable community members to easily find resources (e.g. event reports, research, blog, projects) and community forums.
  • Integrate well with social media, the GOSH forum and other channels e.g. gitlab.

GOSH Discourse forum

  • Welcome new community members: explain how the forum works, how to navigate it and how to get involved.
  • Provide easy navigation of content e.g. forum categories and posts
  • Provide a useful way for members to connect with other members with similar interests
  • Integrate well aesthetically and functionally with the GOSH website.

Main Current Issues⠀

GOSH website

  • Has had insufficient attention paid to it and grew organically so content structure is haphazard.
  • People are unable to find the information that they need.
  • Suffering from WordPress plugin bloat.
  • Not well integrated with the forum for a seamless transition back and forth between the two.

GOSH Discourse forum

  • Confusing to new members, front page and navigation within categories is challenging.
  • Users list is not functional as a directory.

Functionality Requirements⠀

You can see a list of issues and pending tasks on the GOSH gitlab: https://gitlab.com/gosh-community/gosh-website/-/issues?label_name%5B%5D=Web+Dev+Task

GOSH website

  • Mobile friendly throughout
  • Redesigned landing page
  • Very clear and easy to navigate page structure
  • Easy to add content for a variety of users i.e. WYSIWYG or markdown/wiki complexity – should not need all editors to use HTML.
  • Enable cross-posting blogs to medium/Discourse/Twitter
  • Search Engine Optimisation
  • Common header navigation bar that matches GOSH Forum

GOSH Discourse forum

  • Welcome page that has more detail on how to use the forum e.g. in a detailed header post
  • Better layout of front page to navigate to relevant categories and subcategories
  • Clear navigation of all categories and subcategories from anywhere in the forum
  • Make the category dropdown search bar show the subcategories
  • Common header navigation bar that matches GOSH website

Wish List⠀

GOSH website

  • Listing for curated publications for open science hardware

GOSH Discourse forum

  • User directory with custom data collection and searching e.g. by skills

Budget Details⠀

We have $10,000 USD allocated to this project with the potential to be flexible depending on the inclusion of items from the wish list or other advantages.

Proposal Requirements⠀

Proposals are due 14 Dec 2020 by email to goshcommunity@gmail.com, you can also reach out to the same address with questions about the RFP.

Please ensure that your proposal includes:

  1. Whether you can assist with website and Discourse forum development or just one of the two.
  2. Your proposed website platform, please note that as an open hardware community we support open source projects whenever possible and would be unlikely to accept a proposal to use a proprietary software platform.
  3. Your approach to co-design and collaboration with clients and their communities.
  4. Previous examples of your work.
  5. A clear breakdown of budget for different phases of the work of deliverables.

Website RFP & Project Timeline Details⠀

Deadline for proposals: 14 Dec 2020

You will hear back from us before the end of the year and a final decision will be made in early January, subject to holiday availability. 

We aim for the project to take 8-10 weeks to complete from kick-off.

The Gathering for Open Science Hardware is committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. We encourage people with different ability sets, people of color, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities to apply.

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