The webinar started with a brief introduction to the Software Sustainability Institute followed by information about the Fellowship Programme that is welcome to researchers on all career stages and professionals from industry or freelancers that work closely with researchers. As Fellows mentioned during their presentation, following up on the activities, after being awarded the Fellowship, mentioned in their plan never feels as extra work – they are activities that they wish to develop or devote time to anyway.
The list of activities that Fellows must take part include Collaborations Workshop 2019 (from Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd April 2019 in Loughborough), Fellowship Programme Inaugural Meeting (in May, dates to be defined based on Fellows availability, in Manchester), community development skill events (online) and Collaborations Workshop 2020. Travel, accommodation and other expenses related with required activities are covered by the Institute and are not part off the £3k awarded to successful applicants.
On 25 February 2019, shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend Collaborations Workshop 2019 for free (registration, travel and accommodation will be covered by the Institute).
Collaboration with other Fellows
Guest speakers mentioned examples of working together with other Fellows: writing a manifesto together during Collaborations Workshop hackday, teaching a training event, or hosting a seminar. The Institute will continue to support join activities and, starting this year, candidates are invited to include in their application joint activities they envision with other Fellows.
Becky is interested in best practices for coding. When she applied for the Fellowship, she didn't see herself as an expert in best practices although she knew some. She used the £3k to organise a series of talks and workshops at the University of Sheffield. The Fellowship helped her to expand her network and open doors for new opportunities such as being employed by the Research Software Engineering group at Sheffield for four months to work on a project for the Alan Turing Institute with Dr Kirstie Whitaker.
Martin mentioned that he moved jobs during the Fellowship and how he isn't a typical Fellow: he helps researchers with data management and Open Science, but isn't a developer and does not create or re-use research code on a daily basis. The focus of his Fellowship has been around research reproducibility and transparency, and the Fellowship was really beneficial as it provided opportunities to investigate and seek to influence the policy and cultural change side of things within and beyond his home institution.
The Fellowship contributed to Vincent's promotion as Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University. His collaboration with the Institute helped develop his knowledge about software sustainability, get recognition as a champion and increase his network to other fields. In 2018, Vincent hosted the Institute’s annual Collaborations Workshop after attending two editions. According to him, hosting an event like that is something that would not have felt possible when he applied to be a Fellow. Now he supports his PhD students to apply, two of which have already been successful.
Danny was awarded the Fellowship on his second year as a PhD student and after working for eight years as a medical doctor. His motivation for applying was to gain knowledge on reproducible research. The Fellowship allowed Danny to bring not only reproducible research but also other principles, such as automation of repetitive tasks and machine learning, to medicine. Danny hopes to maintain the relationships built in the inaugural year.
Yo's motivation to apply was that researchers don't have the culture to publish code they write as open source and she wants to change that. Her project, Code is Science, needed some financial support so she could attend conferences and develop a manifesto. During the course of the Fellowship, Yo’s discovered that the programme's benefits go beyond the £3k and includes time to work on personal projects – she wrote Code is Science Manifesto during Collaborations Workshop 2018 – and make new friends.
The Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship Programme has been a life-changing experience for the guest speakers and other Fellows. If you’re interested in research software, don't miss the chance to apply for the Fellowship Programme 2019.