Future of Rosetta Task Force Update

By Camille Mathis

The FoR Task Force would like to share this update with the Rosetta Commons community. One year ago, at the start of 2022, the Rosetta board asked our group to explore open-sourcing Rosetta in order to adapt to the changing landscape and rapid developments in our field. Over the past year, starting with presentations on open-sourcing ideas to the TeleCon group and the Board, the work evolved to focus more broadly on the Future of Rosetta. This pivot was determined to be an essential prerequisite for realistic and thoughtful conversations about open source feasibility. The efforts of the team included a proposal on the future organizational structure and fiscal sponsorship, a town hall meeting to capture community perspectives on the proposal, a vote by the Board to endorse the revised proposal, discussions at RosettaCon, and formation of committees to carry out the next stages of visioning and capacity building for our community.

To reference past FoR activities, see these documents:

Future of Rosetta Task Force Proposal, June 2022

Amended Rosetta Board Motion (July 29th)

Question and Comment Roster for the Future of Rosetta Proposal


Committees have been populated via recruitment at RosettaCon, direct outreach from interim chairs, and continuation of previous service. Interim committee leadership has been established. 

  • Applications Committee, chaired by David Nannemann, 10 members.

  • Conference Committee, chaired by Tim Whitehead, 10 members. 

  • Education Committee, chaired by Ashley Vater, 28 members.

  • Infrastructure Committee,chaired by Sam Deluca , 15 members. 

  • JEDI Committee, chaired by Parisa Hosseinzadeh,15 members. 

  • User Support Committee, chaired by Rocco Moretti, nine members. 

There are also one-time committees that are working on short-term projects. 

  • Membership/Bylaws Committee, chaired by Colin Smith,  eight members.

  • Non-commercial Open Source Committee, chaired by Julia Koehler Leman and Brian Weitzner.  

  • President Search Committee, chaired by Neil King, six members. 

Committee updates are posted in our newsletter and on the Rosetta Commons blog. Meeting updates are available via Wiki, Slack, and the Rosetta events calendar. 

Committee Updates

Education Committee: 

  • Advertised the Lead Instructor position for bootcamps. They are soliciting the call till th
    e end of the month. Depending on responses, they may reorganize the single position description into three, one for each of the major bootcamp tracks that we envision (PyRosetta, C++, and Machine Learning). 

  • Refining our mission vision statements and supporting aims for 2023 and with the intention to report on these at Keystone WRC. 

JEDI Committee:

  • WRC/Keystone - JEDI is going to organize a similar event (lunch) as the dinner as the first SRC day.

  • Affinity Conferences - An affinity conference guide was created so participants understand the logistics, purpose, and expectations of these events. 

  • The 2023 Affinity Conference sign up sheet has been shared on Slack and Mattermost. 

Future Goals:

  • Alumni outreach - invite people, who are current members of Rosetta Commons that have moved to the next career stage (for example in the industry), to join activities related to FoR.

  • RosettaCommons and JEDI advertisements - discuss how and with whom to conduct short interviews

User Support Committee:

  • Finalized Mission & Vision

  • Worked on User survey (determining how to support users)

Future Goals:  

  • Continue to work on specific aims and projects.

Presidential Search

The FoR Task Force interviewed two search firms. The President Search Committee ultimately selected  Spencer Stuart. The initial draft job description (which will be updated by committee and search firm) can be found here. The next step is an initial deep dive meeting between Spencer Stuart and the President Search Committee. They will refine the position and candidate description and define a rubric for candidate evaluation. 

NSF Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems (POSE) Grant

The FoR Task Force was awarded $300K to support Rosetta staff and hire consultants/ attorneys to address legal, technical, and community aspects of transitioning to non-commercial or complete open source. In this first phase of the grant the FoR Task Force proposed specific activities to scope the feasibility of an open-source ecosystem development around Rosetta software and community. The committee is considering  applying for phase II of the grant next year, pending insights from scoping work. In phase II, the community will develop a sustainable open-source ecosystem based on a mature open-source product. 

FoR Timeline

  1. Technical Transition - Now

  2. Build an NCOS-Ready repo - Now

  3. Share a target date for disabling access - Feb

  4. Collect community feedback while developing tools to migrate branches and modify the testing infrastructure - Dec-Feb

  5. Start presidential search - Feb

  6. Finalize committees strategic plan - Spring 23

  7. Consult with Polyform on dev/institutional agreements - Now

  8. Work with FoldIt team to detail requirements for a smooth transition - Spring 23

  9. Sunset current repo and operate new repo - end of Q1 2023

  10. NSF POSE II Application - May


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