13 NumFOCUS Projects Awarded CZI Grants

3 min readSep 1, 2021


We are excited to announce that 13 of NumFOCUS’s fiscally sponsored projects have received grant funding under 11 proposals from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s (CZI) Cycle 4 Essential Open Source Software for Science(EOSS) program!

The following projects received nearly $3.8 million in CZI funding:

CZI’s support recognizes the foundational role NumFOCUS projects play in their ambitious goal of curing, preventing or managing all diseases by the end of this century. We are grateful for their continued advocacy as a champion of open-source scientific software maintenance and innovation.

The funded grants listed below cover a wide spectrum of initiatives from faster package management and extensible molecular analysis to Community Development and advancing an inclusive culture.

  • Conda-forge: Fast software package management for bio- and data science
  • Jupyter (Papyri): Better documentation for the Scientific Ecosystem in Jupyter
  • MDAnalysis: Faster, extensible molecular analysis for reproducible science
  • NetworkX: Sustained Code and Community Development for NetworkX
  • Matplotlib: Foundation of Scientific Visualization in Python
  • ArviZ, PyMC3, Stan: Bayesian Open Source Software for Biomedicine
  • matplotlib, NumPy, pandas, SciPy: Advancing an inclusive culture in the scientific Python ecosystem
  • SciML: Enhancing the open-source SciML stack for clinical trial simulations
  • Zarr: A common backbone for the scalable storage of annotated tensor data
  • Pandas: Ensuring the continued growth of Pandas
  • Jupyter (JupyterHub): The JupyterHub Community Strategic Lead

From the NumFOCUS project core developers, reactions to news of their awarded grants:

Matthias Bussonnier of the Jupyter (Pipyri) project shared, “We hope to give users access to first-class rich documentation examples and tutorials to make the scientific python ecosystem more approachable and discoverable.”

“The CZI grant will enable us to grow MDAnalysis within two areas: first of all by speeding up code to adapt it for the next generation of biomolecular simulations and secondly by developing and deploying a framework to make it very easy for scientists to build and publish tools based on MDAnalysis,” said Oliver Beckstein of the MDAnalysis project.

“The amazing thing about CZI’s support for open-source software is how it creates capacity for work on sorely needed infrastructure, independent of novel scientific results. This gives projects like Zarr time to focus on over-arching improvements — bridging communities, easing global sharing, and making data more FAIR,” commented Joshua Moore of the Zarr project.

“With our CZI grant funding, we will be able to improve upon the supply-chain security of conda-forge with signed packages while also increasing the speed of mamba and its reliability. Integrating mirror support so that multiple servers can host conda-forge’s packages is also on our agenda, and lastly, the CZI grant provides crucial initial funding for PackagingCon. This will be an exciting event to bring together package manager developers from many different communities,” said Wolf Vollprecht, conda-forge Development Lead.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to build out and optimize SciML tooling for simulation of virtual clinical trials, drug design, systems pharmacology, and systems biology modeling. The CZI funding will enable academics and researchers across many levels (faculty through undergraduates) to dedicate time to working on such tooling. This includes projects to expand the SciML simulation and modeling functionality and core infrastructure work to optimize the performance of current SciML libraries. It will also facilitate the strengthening of the SciML community through supporting our first planned SciMLCon,” said Samuel Isaacson of the SciML project.

Thank you, CZI!

NumFOCUS applauds CZI for the strong support system they’ve developed to help fund and maintain open-source scientific software. We are incredibly grateful and look forward to witnessing the impact of this work.




Our open source scientific software projects are changing the world. Learn more on our website: https://numfocus.org