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QCIF’s digital skills training program for Queensland researchers has been given a boost with three QCIF staff members and two university staff becoming fully certified Software Carpentry instructors. 

QCIF Training Manager Mark Crowe and QCIF eResearch Analysts Chantelle Pinnington (James Cook University based) and Dr Edan Scriven (University of Queensland based) have all completed the instructor training program with The Carpentries. Likewise, Anita Frederiks, a learning advisor in maths skills within the University of Southern Queensland’s Library Services, and Andrew Gray-Spence, an IT support officer at JCU, completed the program as part of QCIF’s intake.

The Carpentries is a non-profit organisation teaching foundational coding, and data science skills to researchers worldwide. QCIF is a member of The Carpentries organisation. 

Instructors may teach workshops in their local area or travel to teach. Having five extra Carpentry instructors means QCIF can expand its offerings of Python, R and Unix workshops. 

“Across the six QCIF members [UQ, QUT, Griffith, JCU, USQ and CQU], we’re aiming to run around 30 Carpentries workshops in 2020,” said Mark Crowe.

QCIF currently has four R workshops scheduled from late April until June, and three Python workshops lined up from May until July (a Python workshop was recently held on 20–21 April).

All QCIF workshops are currently being conducted online during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“QCIF has goals of achieving high growth in its training capacity, and to actively engage with the rest of the Australian eResearch training community,” said Mark.

“To support these goals, we are adapting our in-house training material to a format similar to that used by The Carpentries training community; that is, modular content, hosted on GitHub in markdown format, and containing a balance of theory, formative evaluation, and live coding training activities. This model also encourages community contribution and reuse, enabling a more consistent and higher-quality training experience.”

Visit The Carpentries website if you are interested in becoming an instructor, and contact QCIF Training Manager Mark Crowe ( to check if you meet the criteria for QCIF sponsorship. 

Prospective instructors are welcome from all research domains. Please note that Carpentries instructor training focuses on training techniques, not the workshop topics.