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Fellows newsletter: December 2020

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Fellows newsletter: December 2020

Rachael Ainsworth

Rachael Ainsworth

SSI fellow

Posted on 1 December 2020

Estimated read time: 4 min
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Fellows newsletter: December 2020

Posted by j.laird on 1 December 2020 - 9:30am

Computer saying stay connectedPhoto by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona 

Welcome to this month's SSI Fellows Newsletter which shares activities and opportunities taking place within the SSI Fellows' community. Read on for:

  • Fellows' Spotlight: Malvika Sharan
  • November Community Call recap
  • Fellows' and related activities
  • Upcoming events and calls

Fellows’ Spotlight

Malvika Sharan (2019), The Turing Way Community Manager, The Alan Turing Institute, UK.

  • Updates from call

As an SSI fellow from 2019, I have benefitted enormously from my fellowship in the past year. I have been able to successfully combine the support fund with opportunities to collaborate with other fellows and SSI staff members. Here are my highlights: 

  1. This fellowship helped enhance my CV when I was looking for a job in the UK. My SSI fellowship mentor, Kirstie Whitaker recruited me to work with her on The Turing Way
  2. I collaborated with Yo Yehudi, who is a 2018 fellow, and Bérénice Batut to create Open Life Science (OLS) mentoring and training program. We invited 12 SSI fellows and staff members to collaborate in different capacities as mentors, experts, guest speakers and referees. 
  3. We could combine our fellowship to support OLS’ cost that included the subscription of Zoom, EasyChair, otter.ai and professional mentor training. This allowed us to prove the potential of our project and look for more grants to ensure sustainability in 2021 (see this blog). See my talk on Zenodo.
  • My non-work highlight 

One of the things that I am glad to have learned this year is “Mithila Painting” - a traditional art form from the Mithila region in India where my family comes from. These paintings were traditionally created by women to decorate their walls with geometrical shapes and patterns depicting nature, stories, village life and festivals. This has now become a way to tell contemporary stories from modern life, highlight social issues and increase awareness around education, equality and women's rights.

  • My recommendations
    Avatar: The Last Airbender and Studio Ghibli movies

Community Call Recap 

During the November SSI Fellows Community Call, we focused on supporting 2019 and 2020 Fellows to achieve their Fellowship plans in a COVID-19 world. We heard a Fellow’s update from Malvika Sharan who gave inspiration and advice on how to achieve Fellowship goals and examples of how she has successfully spent her Fellowship funds.

We discussed how the SSI can support Fellows in moving their activities online, showcased examples of how Fellows have spent funds so far and opened the floor to a Q&A discussion. You can watch the recording here.

Fellows’ and related activities

Ally Skills Training workshops - Community building can involve learning to step up for others when you notice something unfair, exclusionary, or discriminatory. If you are in a position of privilege and feel safe to then you can speak up – a trait known as “Ally Skills”. Malvika Sharan and Yo Yehudi are running two virtual Ally Skills training sessions to give interested participants the chance to learn and practise them.

  • Date: 4 December 2020
  • Location: Online

Upcoming events and calls

  • JROST 2020 Conference - The “Joint Roadmap for Open Science Tools” 2020 Conference is a virtual event designed to hold space for the community of practitioners building, maintaining, and advocating for open tools to support research and collaboration. The theme for this year is “Collaboration in Action”, and will showcase the value and need for working together on open, shared solutions to further research and scholarship, especially in these times.
    • Date: 14-16 December 2020
    • Location: Online
  • Jisc Digital Research Community Call - Shaping future research environments: digital challenges and opportunities webinar to introduce a new digital research community group and preview Jisc’s updated research strategy.
    • Date: 15 December 2020, 10:30-12:00 GMT
    • Location: Online

The monthly SSI Fellows Newsletter shares activities and opportunities taking place within the SSI Fellows' community. We are looking for newsletter items related to events, webinars, workshops, resources, job and funding opportunities that SSI Fellows are involved in or looking for support with (submit via this Google Form). If you have any questions, please contact Community Manager Rachael Ainsworth at r.ainsworth@software.ac.uk

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