Research Software Camp: Supporting mental health in research Software
Posted by j.laird
on 29 September 2022 - 10:30am
By Selina Aragon, Research Software Camps Chair and SSI Communications Lead.
While recent years have seen better acknowledgement of the importance of wellbeing and good mental health in the workplace, writing code for research is a relatively newly recognised aspect in academia and, as such, a long road is still ahead of us when it comes to speaking openly about, and offering solutions to, stressors that can affect people’s wellbeing in research software working environments.
Our next Research Software Camp will focus on exploring various aspects of mental health and wellbeing in research software, including causes of stress in research software, dealing with our inner critic through self-compassion, having difficult conversations, team culture, post-Covid hybrid working, isolation, and more.
Join us online from 7 to 18 November 2022 as we explore the topic through our live sessions (the Panel Discussion: Managing stress in research software, and a mindfulness workshop), and our online curated resources and social media campaign. We welcome anyone who is interested in the topic of mental health in research software.
Research and events on mental health
Focussing on mental health at the next Research Software Camp (RSC) isn’t an isolated decision. There’s adjacent work being done by our staff and collaborators on mental health particularly in research software. Dave Horsfall, SSI Fellow and Research Software Camp organising committee member, advocates the importance of understanding mental health for research software developers to drive culture change. He is currently running a survey which you can take part in. The results will give valuable information about the health of the Research Software Engineering workforce.
The SSI Collaborations Workshop 2023 will focus on Sustainable Career Development for those in the research software community: looking after your software, your career, and yourself (including sustaining your mental health, wellbeing and finding your community).
Mentorship programme & coding in research workshops
We will not be running introductory coding workshops, nor the Learning to Code mentorship programme this November. This decision will provide the RSC steering committee with some time to improve the mentorship programme’s current workflow. We want to make a few changes, but we promise we’ll come back next year to offer quality one-to-one support delivered by our fantastic volunteer mentors. In the meantime, you can read about some of our mentees’ experiences in our blog.
We’re always looking for content contributors. If you have something to say about mental health in academia or industry with a particular focus on research software / coding for research projects, then get in touch!
About the Research Software Camps
The Research Software Camps are two weeks of online events and resources all aimed at researchers with zero- to beginner-level coding skills who may not be confident about good research software practices or lack the support to develop their skill set. While exploring key topics around research software, the RSCs focus on entry-level guidance and training, while also supporting the transition to developing intermediate skills.