Meet-U is a collaborative pedagogical and research initiative between several Universities of Paris area. The course is intended to Master students (2nd year) in Bioinformatics. Students are grouped in teams of 4-5 and realize a project from A to Z to answer an ambitious biological question. An open meeting day is organized at the end of the course to gather the scientific community and showcase students' projects.

Students have to develop an algorithm/program that integrates the theoretical knowledge and technical skills they acquired during their formation to apply them to a concrete problem in Biology. They are guided through all the steps of a project realization, from conception to validation. They learn how to use popular tools for collaborative work, how to collectively conduct a project, and how to exploit cloud computing resources.

Students are in "coopetition": they collaborate within each team and teams compete with each other. Meet-U represents a unique opportunity for them to become actors of a research community and present their work to their scientific peers (jury of researchers). Meet-U also helps them develop their creativity and autonomy and create a network for their professional career.

For the research community, Meet-U is the occasion of exchanging on a common topic, becoming collectively aware of the "local forces" and increasing its visibility in the participating universities and beyond.

The subject/theme of the project and the pedagogical teams will be renewed every couple of years. This will ensure that Meet-U covers different aspects of computational biology, is in constant evolution and stays lively.

To learn more about Meet-U: Abdollahi et al., accepted in PLOS Computational Biology.