What kind of tasks can I post?
In short, anything that can be done outside your lab. We’ll make an effort to understand what you exactly
need, contact people capable of doing it, and figuring out whether it’s possible and how to do it. We have
a community of highly skilled scientists who will volunteer their time to make this work.
Examples of typical simple tasks:
- Transcribe data from notebooks into tables
- Manual analysis of images (segmentation, tracking, identification of cells, etc.)
- Data curation and annotation
Examples of more complex tasks:
- Bioinformatic analysis
- Automated image analysis
- Finding a reagent you need
- Finding someone to train your team in a new protocol
- Finding an expert in a topic you need, and setting up an interview
- Doing a literature search on a topic unfamiliar to you
How is this different from standard platforms to enhance collaborations?
Unlike platforms where you post questions and different people answer, we will assign a dedicated researcher
to ensure that you get high-quality results with minimal effort on your side.
Do I need to train or coordinate the people who will do the task?
No. A scientist with the necessary skills will communicate with you to understand the task, and will then
select the volunteers, train them and provide any needed infrastructure.
But what if I want to coordinate/train them myself?
Then you can. Just let us know what level of involvement you want.
Is all this for free?
Yes. We’re all volunteers.
Who are the volunteers?
Mostly, other scientists who do not work on COVID-19, but who may work in closely related fields.
We’ll find people with the right level of expertise for each task.
Can I ask for tasks that require specialized equipment and/or skill?
Yes. We’ll try to find a lab with the necessary infrastructure. Data analysis tasks are the easiest,
but we can also try to do experimental tasks.
Can I ask for other people to run custom software developed at my lab?
Yes. We’ll take care to set up a computer, install any software needed (including commercial one)
and run your code.
Do I need to explain the background/aim of the task I’m proposing?
No. You can tell us about it if you think it helps, but there is no need. Just tell us the specific task
you want to get done, and we’ll do it.
Who controls the project?
You, 100%. This is not a collaboration. It’s just people working for you. (Although it can become a
collaboration in some cases, if you want)
Do I need to give credit to the volunteers or the initiative?
This is volunteer work, so no credit is due. Of course, you’re free to give as much credit as you want, and it
seems fair to add the volunteers to the acknowledgments of papers coming out of this. But it’s not a requirement.
Certain complex tasks/projects may develop where a collaboration between groups can be established, and then the
usual rules of scientific collaboration will apply.
Do I need to be a P.I. to use this service?
No. Whatever your level, you can make a request. The only requirement is to be working on COVID-19.
My research is related to COVID-19, but I’m not sure it’s related enough. What should I do?
Make the request, and explain the situation. We’ll let you know if you qualify or not.
I belong to a for-profit institution. Can I still use this service?
Possibly. Let us know your situation, and we’ll figure it out.
Will I know who are the volunteers assigned to my task?
If you want, yes.
My data are confidential. Is that a problem?
Not for us. Just let us know how you want us to handle the data.
Do you have any policy about how the outcome of the research must be handled (open access publications,
No, and that’s not for us to say. Again, the research is still 100% yours.
How fast will things get done?
We’ll try to respond to your initial query within hours, giving you an estimate of feasibility and a tentative timeline,
which will depend on the task. Simple tasks can be finished fast (hours). If you’re task is particularly urgent, let us
My dataset is very big
No problem. Just let us know, and we’ll set up a way to transfer it.
I have another question
You can ask us directly at