More information about the Agent network

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Terms and conditions

On this page, we've provided more information about the Agents network and how it works.

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All questions and suggestions should be sent to the agents email address.

Terminology

We will use the word conference to refer to all conferences, meetings, workshops and events.

The word expenses will be used to describe expenses incurred for both travel and subsistence.

The responsibilities of an Agent

Agents have three responsibilities:

  1. Preparing reports on conferences
  2. Promoting the Software Sustainability Institute where appropriate
  3. Attending an annual Software Sustainability Institute event

Preparing reports on conferences

In exchange for the Software Sustainability Institute paying their expenses, Agents will prepare a short report on the conferences they attend. Further information on these reports is provided below.

Promotion of the Software Sustainability Institute

Agents should promote the Software Sustainability Institute where appropriate. For example, we expect Agents to discuss our work during conversations with interested delegates at conferences and events.

We also require our Agents to include a slide about the Software Sustainability Institute in their presentation, and, where possible, to leave publicity materials (typically A5 flyers) for distribution at the conference.

Agents will write a minimum of one blog post per year for the Software Sustainability Institute's blog.

We encourage Agents to use our Twitter account to broadcast news about their work.

Attending an annual Software Sustainability Institute event

Agents will attend one annual event run by the Software Sustainability Institute per year. The event will last a maximum of three days and expenses will be reimbursed by the Software Sustainability Institute.

Contract duration

In most circumstances, Agents must submit applications for travelling expenses over a period of 12 months from the start of the Agent's network on 1 September of each year. However, to allow some flexibility, the travel applications can relate to conferences that take place over a period of 15 months from the Agent's acceptance into the Agent's network on 1 September.

For example, someone starting as an Agent on 1 September 2011 can submit travel applications over the period 1 September 2011 to 31 August 2012, but these travel applications can relate to conferences that take place between 1 September 2011 to 31 December 2012.

Contracts are renewable each year.

What conferences and events meet the criteria for funding?

We will only pay for an Agent to attend a conference that is likely to provide information about a research discipline that uses software. We are interested in uncovering information about:

  • The software being used by researchers to improve their research, and the ways in which that software is being used
  • Researchers who are developing software for other researchers to use
  • Groups who are funding software development or helping researchers with software

How to apply for, and claim, expenses

Claiming expenses

Expenses will be claimed from the University of Edinburgh, hence Agents should follow the University of Edinburgh's expenses policy as described in the reimbursement of expenses section on the staff expenses website.

Agents will be sent an expenses form in which to detail their expenses.

Receipts

All expenses must be supported by a receipt.

The application process

Any Agent can apply to have their expenses paid by entering the required information on the Agents travel request page. The process is as follows:

  1. At least one month before the conference begins, the Agent should use the travel request page to submit information about the conference. This must include:
    • the name of the conference
    • the dates over which the conference takes place
    • an adequate description of why the conference will generate information relevant to the Software Sustainability Institute
    • an estimate of the expenses that will be incurred
  2. The application is reviewed by the Software Sustainability Institute
  3. The Agent is informed by email whether the application is successful (the Agent might be contacted for further information)
  4. The Agent pays for their expenses and collects receipts for all expenses incurred
  5. Within one month of the end date of the conference, the Agent submits their report on the conference and posts an expenses form and all receipts to the address below
  6. The Software Sustainability Institute reimburses the Agent for all relevant expenses

Limitations over what can be claimed, time limits and other restrictions are discussed in the Limitations section below.

Posting expenses and receipts

Completed expenses forms and receipts should be posted to:

The Software Sustainability Institute (Agent expenses)
Room 3412
EPCC
The University of Edinburgh
James Clerk Maxwell Building
Mayfield Road
Edinburgh
EH9 3JZ

We recommend photocopying the form and receipts before sending them to the address above via recorded delivery.

Limitations

Expenses will not be reimbursed if the limitations described on this page are not met. It is the responsibility of the Agent to meet the limitations. The Software Sustainability Institute is not responsible for reminding Agents of limitations and cannot be held liable if any of the limitations are not met.

We will recoup reasonable expenses, as described in the reimbursement of expenses section on the staff expenses website. This means taking the cheapest option when travelling, such as choosing economy class for flights and standard class for trains.

The report on the conference must use the template provided on the Agent reporting page and must be completed to a degree considered adequate by the Software Sustainability Institute.

The Software Sustainability Institute is not liable for any expenses incurred by the Agent before permission for attending the conference has been requested.

Expenses will not be paid until the Agent submits their report on the conference.

Unless suitable justification is provided, expenses will not be paid if they are over 20% of the estimate of the expenses submitted during the travel request process.

Unless suitable justification is provided, travel request applications must be submitted at least one month before the conference takes place.

Expenses will only be reimbursed if the expenses form and receipts are received within a period of one calendar month from the end date of the conference.

Termination

The Software Sustainability Institute reserves the right to cancel our contract with an Agent at any time if the Software Sustainability Institute deems that an Agent has not met the terms and conditions described on this page.