Information for OHW24 Applicants#

OceanHackWeek 2024 (OHW24) is a hands-on, interactive in-person workshop focused on data science in oceanography and fisheries that will be held on August 26-30, 2024. Join us for five days of tutorials, data exploration, software development and community networking!

Applications for OHW24 are now open!

Applications opened on June 14. To apply, please fill out this form. We will start reviewing applications on July 8th, 2024.
Accepted applicants will be notified no later than July 15, 2024.

See the main OHW24 page for information about each of the two in-person OHW24 events, in the US and in Australia.

Please see the FAQs below for answers to common questions. For additional questions, please post in our discussions on Github or email


Q: I am an undergrad / first year grad / faculty / etc. Is this program right for me?#

We welcome participants from all career stages and encourage applications from graduate students, postdocs and early career researchers. Advanced undergrad students with background in oceanography and data science are also welcome.

Before applying consider what you can bring to the event: by pitching a project, by your knowledge of data sets, by your programming/computational skills, by your project management skills.

We want you to grow/learn during the event! If in doubt, simply apply and explain your motivation for participation.

We expect all participants to be engaged in the team projects and focus during the week.

Q: I am proficient in Matlab / other languages but have not used Python or R. Python or R has been on my list to learn. How can I make my application be stronger?#

We plan to accept participants with diverse skill levels and backgrounds in programming.

However, to best benefit from and contribute to the program, participants are expected to have some experience with Python and/or R programming.

Applicants with an extensive programming background in other languages (e.g. Matlab) are welcome to apply, if they are willing to get up-to-date on the expected basic skills before the program.

Participants should familiarize themselves with the materials included in Python novice gapminder and Python novice inflammation for a Python focus, or R novice gapminder for an R focus. These are a good reflection of the level we expect participants to be at coming into the workshop.

We also encourage participants to explore more advanced topics before the hackweek. For Python, we suggest looking at one of these resources: Pythia Foundations, An Introduction to Earth and Environmental Data Science, and Data Carpentry - Python for Atmosphere and Ocean Scientists

Q: I don’t know the first thing about version revision/control systems. Can I still apply?#

During the hackweek we will use Git and GitHub but you are not expected to be an expert on it. In previous years we have offered refresher in the week prior to the actual OHW event. The organizing committee is deciding whether we can offer this in OHW24. You are welcome to check back here for this info, but we want to emphasize that nothing is better than trying it yourself first – we recommend the Software Carpentry lessons for learning git basic.

Note that we will require you to create a GitHub account before completing the application.

Q: I do not have any programming experience. Is the program a good opportunity to get started?#

We believe that OceanHackWeek participants will benefit the most with some prior programming experience, and might not find the hackweek the best place to learn programming.

If you do not have any programming experience we encourage you to start with some local or online training. Check if your institution runs a Software Carpentry workshop.

Once you have gone through some training you will have a better understanding of whether OceanHackWeek is right for you. We expect that you have basic operational knowledge of Python or R in advance of the program.

Q: Do I have to be a stellar Python or R programmer to be accepted?#

No. We aim to bring in motivated participants with a diverse range of programming skill levels.

Q: I already know a lot of what you plan to cover, should I apply / will I be bored?#

OceanHackWeek is not only a place to learn new skills but also a place to share expertise and build a community together. If you are already an expert but are interested in sharing and helping others, we welcome you to pitch project ideas, contribute to hacking, and assist other participants during the tutorials by being a teaching assistant!

Please mention this in the application. Send us an email if you have any questions!

Q: I have strong computational skills but have not worked in oceanography?#

To ensure that participants will be interested in the oceanography problems they are solving and can give back to the field later on, we require that participants have had at least some familiarity or prior experience with oceanography data.

Q: I work in an ocean engineering / robotics / consulting company. Can I apply?#

Yes, we welcome applications from the private sector. Make sure to explain your motivation for participation in the application form! We may hold a career panel discussion, so please mention if you are interested in participating.

Q: I work in a non-US institution / organization / company. Can I apply?#

Yes, we welcome applications from abroad for both the in-person and virtual events.

Q: I was a participant in previous OceanHackWeek. Can I apply again?#

Yes, we welcome applications from previous participants, but priority will be given to new applicants. If you are interested in assisting as a project or tutorial helper during the hackweek, please mention that in the application.

Q: Am I supposed to participate in all tutorials and presentations?#

Yes. While we understand that not all topics may be 100% relevant to you we want to maximize engagement. Note that we post the lessons and videos online later, so if you are interested in only a portion of the OceanHackWeek consider that an option rather than taking someone’s spot.

Q: My application was not accepted, what now?#

Sadly resources are limited and we cannot accommodate all the applicants we would like.

It is important to note that a rejected application does not mean a bad one! The reasons are:

  • The organizer tries to accommodate a good balance from novices to experts. That means a candidate may be rejected one year and accepted in another due to the different pool of applicants. Rule of thumb? Always apply again next year if possible! Also, if you believe you can contribute to the OHW as a helper instead of a student, please get in touch! We are always in need of helpers.

  • Another important factor that goes into the selection of candidates is the motivation paragraph in your application. Boilerplate answers or short answers like: “I want to participate” or “It is important to me” may get lower ranking than those who read the past year materials and wrote a paragraph on how the OHW can really make a difference to them. In short: be informed, be honest, be you!

  • Also, please refer to the FAQ question: “I am proficient in Matlab / other languages but have not used Python or R. It has been on my list to learn. How can I make my application be stronger?”