Fellowship Programme 2018: Terms and Conditions

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


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


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

The word expenses will be used to describe expenses incurred for both travel, subsistence and expenses related to the running of and attending events.

The word Fellow or Fellows will refer to a single Fellow, or all Fellows, in the 2018 Fellowship intake, unless otherwise qualified.

The responsibilities of a Fellow

Fellows have the following areas of responsibility:


  1. Prepare blog posts about events attended where attendance has been supported by the Institute’s funds.

  2. Promote the Software Sustainability Institute and its work where appropriate.

  3. Attend a Fellows inaugural meeting in early 2018.

  4. Attend the annual Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop on March 26-27 2018 (with an optional attendance on 28 March for a Hackday).

  5. Deliver the plans described in your fellowship application (and make the Institute aware of any substantive changes to your plans).

  6. Provide feedback and ideas to help the Institute and the Fellowship programme.

  7. Participate in an online survey in early April 2019 to report back on your experiences on being a Fellow in your initial 15 months as one.


Where possible, we encourage you to:

  1. Run an interdisciplinary workshop in your area of work with a focus on building new relationships or exploring cross-over areas which are under-represented.

  2. Run a Software Carpentry workshop and/or a Data Carpentry workshop

  3. Suggest other uses of the award to further your aims and the Institute’s aims; these could be focused on your institution, domain or both.

  4. Prepare blog posts on relevant events attended even where the Institute has not supported the Fellows attendance.

  5. Encourage other Fellows (2018 or earlier) to attend events you have organised (for example, by promoting the event on the all-fellows@software.ac.uk mailing list) and the Slack team.

  6. Work on activities to address specific topics with other Fellows.

  7. Take part in the selection of the following year’s Fellows by taking part in: the review of applications, short listing meeting, face to face selection meeting, or online selection meeting related to the Institute’s Fellows 2019 programme. This is in line with the aim of the Institute to have existing Fellows help choose the new cohort: ‘Fellows choosing Fellows’.

  8. Participate in annual surveys that seek to gather information about how the Fellowship has helped all Fellows

  9. Other relevant activities to Fellow’s or Institute’s interests.


A Fellowship has £3000 of funding. This funding is to aid the Fellow in carrying out their responsibilities as detailed above.

Preparing blog posts about events

In exchange for the Software Sustainability Institute paying their expenses, Fellows will prepare a blog post about the event they attend, workshops they run, etc.

We recommend reading the Writing for the Software Sustainability Institute guidelines while preparing your blog post.

Information about when these blog posts are required is covered in the section 'How to apply for, and claim, expenses'. Please note we more than welcome blog posts about relevant events you have organised, attended and opinion articles and can help publicise them even when the work was not supported by the Institute's resources.

Promotion of the Software Sustainability Institute

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

We also require our Fellows to include a slide about the Software Sustainability Institute in their presentation (if we have contributed towards the event) and, where possible, to leave publicity materials (typically A5 flyers and stickers) for distribution at the event.

We encourage Fellows to use Twitter and other social media in order to broadcast news about our work.

Attend a Fellowship inaugural meeting in early-2018

Fellows will attend an inaugural Fellowship meeting in early-2018; this is likely to be sometime during the last week of January or the first week of February 2018; we will be sending a poll out mid December 2017 to check Fellows' availability. The meeting will give Fellows the opportunity to gain a more thorough introduction to the Institute and learn how they can contribute in a way that is mutually beneficial. It also affords an opportunity to network with others and gain feedback on their planned activities. It will last one day and expenses will be reimbursed by the Software Sustainability Institute and the expenses will not be deducted from the individual £3000 Fellows budget.

Attending the Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop

Fellows will attend the Collaborations Workshop on the 26-27 March 2018 and they are strongly encouraged to attend the associated Hackday on 28 March 2018. Expenses will be reimbursed by the Software Sustainability Institute and will not be deducted from the individual £3000 Fellows budget.

Possibly run a Software Carpentry or Data Carpentry Workshop

A Fellow can elect to run a Software Carpentry event at their home institution or at a domain conference (where there is clear benefit to the UK research base). The Software Sustainability Institute will provide expertise and advice on running the event. Funding for the workshop will come from the Fellows £3000 funding.

The Software Carpentry or Data Carpentry fee should not be paid for from Fellowship funds, however catering and supporting the attendance of instructors are valid items that we reimburse (assuming approval of your event request).

Contract duration

In most circumstances, Fellows must submit applications for expenses over the period 1 January 2018 and 8 December 2018. The expenses must be incurred over the period 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2019. After this period of time Fellows can remain as Fellows but they no longer have access to dedicated funds.

This is subject to some basic requirements: such keeping the Institute up to date with your latest e-mail address, some level of engagement (e.g. writing a blog post) for us and not bringing the Institute into disrepute by its association with you.

On an annual basis (in early April) post Fellowship an announcement will be made on the all-fellows@software.ac.uk e-mail list specifying whether there is a communal pot of money for Fellows who are past their inauguration year to bid into; this is likely to be around £5000 a year.

What events meet the criteria for funding?

We will only pay for a Fellow to attend/organise an event that is likely to provide information about a research discipline that uses software, or an event that's likely to generate interest in software and research. 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

  • Current issues relating to software use and development in a specific field or fields of research

  • Researchers who are developing software for other researchers to use

  • Groups who are funding software development or helping researchers with software

  • Other matters pertaining to software in research (but we encourage dialogue with the Fellows Management team prior to an event request)

Organising events such as Software Carpentry, Fellow led workshops or other events will be agreed by dialogue; there must be a clear benefit to the UK research base and be in alignment with the Institute's aims and objectives.

We expect Fellows to try and achieve the plans they laid out in their application, however with justification and communication with the Management team we can take a flexible approach to this.

How to apply for, and claim, expenses

The application process

Any Fellow can apply to have their allowable expenses paid by entering the required information on the Fellows event request page. The process is as follows:

  1. At least one month before the event begins, the Fellow should use the event request page to submit information about how the expenses will be incurred. This must include:

    • the name of the event

    • the dates over which the event takes place

    • a description of why the Fellow’s participation in the event will generate benefit to the Software Sustainability Institute and/or the Fellow’s research community

    • an estimate of the expenses that will be incurred

  2. The application is reviewed by the Software Sustainability Institute

  3. The Fellow is informed by email (normally within two weeks) whether the application is successful (the Fellow may be contacted for further information before a decision is made)

  4. The Fellow pays for their expenses and collects receipts for all expenses incurred (large upfront costs such as international flights or hotel prepayment can be claimed for in advance of the event).

  5. Within one month of the end date of the event, they submit their draft blog post on the event and email scans of the expenses form and all receipts to the address below. (note it takes 6 weeks for payment once expenses have been received and we have passed them onto University of Edinburgh Accounts office, however we will not pass these on until we have a reasonable draft blog post of your event).

  6. The Software Sustainability Institute reimburses the Fellow for all relevant expenses (or the balance of the expenses, if some have been paid for in advance).

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

Sending expenses and receipts

Expenses incurred by Fellows, are subject to the Expenses Policy of the University of Edinburgh. This is a summary of the main points indicated in the Policy. For reference, we are attaching this Policy at the end of these terms (Appendix A: Edinburgh Expenses Policy). When in doubt please write to fellows-management@software.ac.uk.

  • Make sure you obtain original, itemised receipts / VAT receipts for all items you are claiming reimbursement. Credit/Debit card receipts are not sufficient. In certain situations it is not feasible to obtain receipts for small items. In these cases, unvouched items under £5 will be accepted for reimbursement. Please put the actual cost of the item on the form, not “£5”.

  • Use the form provided for claiming expenses incurred on behalf of the Software Sustainability Institute.

    • On the claim form, state your Home Address (not your Work Address).
    • Make sure you have filled out your bank details correctly and clearly.
    • List each item so it matches a receipt (do not sum receipts into e.g. “Meals”).
  • Once your claim is fully completed, please add every relevant receipts and :

    • Scan it (form+receipts) and submit it to lowFAT.

    • Wait for approval form SSI.

    • Send the paper originals (form+receipts) to

      Giacomo Peru
      Software Sustainability Institute
      The Bayes Centre
      47 Potterrow
      EH8 9BT
  • It is important that the scan you send by email be identical to the paper originals you send by post. Payments will not be released until we receive the paper originals, but the scanned copy will speed our processes up.

  • NOTE - We cannot reimburse expenses for events which have not yet taken place. Please email us if this is an issue for larger value items such as flights and accommodation as we may be able to book these for you.

  • Only reasonable expenses actually incurred in pursuit of University business, and properly supported by receipts, will be reimbursed. Certain items of expenditure are subject to specified limits and conditions, as set out in the University’s policy on reimbursements of expenses. This includes:

  • Travel should normally be by the cheapest means of transport. Normally this will mean standard class rail travel, economy class air travel and public transport.

  • Expenditure on lunch or dinner should not normally exceed £40.

  • Alcohol will not be reimbursed


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

We will reimburse reasonable expenses, as described in the reimbursement of expenses section on the staff expenses website a copy of the document not requiring login is available. This means choosing the most economical and practical option when traveling, such as choosing economy class for flights, standard class for trains and accommodation considered safe.

The blog post on the event must be completed to a degree considered adequate and publishable by the Software Sustainability Institute. We suggest you read around five to ten of the recent blog posts at www.software.ac.uk/blog to understand the style, tone and type required. The Writing for the Software Sustainability Institute guide is a valuable reference and following it will reduce the amount of iterations between the Institute and the Fellow required to get your post published. To understand how we will process you blog post please read our editing tips.

The Software Sustainability Institute is not liable for any expenses incurred by the Fellow before permission for incurring expenses has been approved.

Expenses (or the balance of these) will not be paid until the Fellow submits their blog post in a publishable state on the event. When expenses have been paid in advance of the event, if a Fellow fails to submit a blog post without a suitable justification, he / she will be asked to reimburse the expenses already incurred by the Institute.

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, event requests must be submitted at least one month before the event 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 event.


The Software Sustainability Institute reserves the right to cancel our contract with a Fellow at any time if the Software Sustainability Institute deems that a Fellow has not met the terms and conditions described on this page or has brought the Institute into disrepute.

Fellows who are inactive (no approved event requests in 6 months) and non-communicative (not responding to email or other contact requests within a month) risk the cancellation of their contract.

Any Fellow who has their agreement terminated will not be eligible to move onto the continuing Fellowship programme and references to them on the Fellowship pages will be removed.

Appendix A: University of Edinburgh Expenses Policy

(Approved by the University Court on 19 September 2011)

Permission to incur expenses

  • Travel or other activities which give rise to an expense should only be undertaken with the prior approval of the budget holder.

Expenses - General

  • The University will accept or reimburse reasonable travel, subsistence and other costs incurred by a member of staff in the furtherance of his or her duties for the University.

  • Staff must ensure that no unnecessary costs are incurred and that the University receives good value for money.

  • Staff should consider whether or not travel is essential.

  • Low value travel should be approved in advance, self booked, paid for and reclaimed via eExpenses. Other University business travel, transport, car hire or accommodation, if possible, should be ordered only with firms who have formal contracts with the University.

  • No member of the University shall make a claim in respect of any expense that was not incurred necessarily on university business. Any attempt to submit a false claim form will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence.

  • If travelling to more remote or dangerous parts of the world you must undertake a full travel risk assessment.

  • Payment of expenses is in arrears on the production of receipts.

  • The University's guidelines for reimbursement of expenses must be strictly adhered to.

Advance of Expenses

  • It is not normal to provide an advance of expenses for travel but where a reasonable case can be made to the Budget Holder, and with the agreement of Finance, an advance can be made but the Budget Holder remains accountable for managing the recovery of the advance.


  • Insurance protects both the University and the employee and is mandatory for all foreign travel, either through the University insurance or via your own business travel policy.

  • If you are using your own car on University business you must ensure that it is adequately covered for business use, the car has a valid MOT and you have a valid driving licence.

  • If travelling to more remote or dangerous parts of the world you must advise the insurance office before travelling

  • Ensure cars hired are appropriately insured. If hiring a car abroad you should arrange local insurance via the hire company e.g. cdw.

Authorisation of Expenses

  • Claims should be authorised as soon as possible to minimise delay in payment.

  • Authorisers must confirm that the costs have been incurred necessarily for the purposes of the University business, that there is sufficient budget to cover the expense and that supporting documentation, such as a receipt, is presented, prior to approving expense claims.

  • Heads of Schools/Heads of Support Departments may delegate authority for authorisation of expenses to senior members of staff who have management or financial responsibility. They may not delegate authorisation powers to more junior members of staff. Non-budget holding staff should only be given powers of authorisation where there are clear line management responsibilities for a particular area.

  • All expenses must be authorised by someone senior to the claimant or at an equivalent level or by the unit finance manager.

  • Heads of School/Units shall have their claims authorised by the appropriate member of the College/Support Group

  • Heads of College/Support Groups or Assistant/Vice Principals will be authorised by either the University Secretary, or in the Secretary's absence by the Director of Corporate Services, Principal or Director of Finance.

  • The Principal shall have his/her claim authorised by the Vice-Convener of Court.

  • Individuals who are not members of staff must have their expense claims authorised by the authorised signatory for the appropriate cost centre.

  • All authorised signatories should be recorded on the Finance Department's Authorisations Database. Any changes should be notified promptly.

Foreign Travel

  • Overseas travel requires a higher level of authorisation and approval than UK travel. The basic principle to be strictly applied is that authorisation for such travel has to be sought from a level further up the management structure than the intending traveller, in addition to approval from the budget holder /authorised signatory, if that person is of the same level as the person travelling. For travel to be funded from Research Grants, care should be taken to ensure that the sponsor's regulations are fully complied with.

  • Prior to booking foreign travel, the intending traveller should prepare a brief statement detailing the purpose of the trip and the benefits to be gained, as well as an estimate of the costs involved. This statement should be authorised by the traveller's line manager and approved by Head of School/Head of College as appropriate.

  • For Heads of School and senior management below the level of Head of College, a statement of purpose, benefit and cost of the proposed trip will require to be approved by the appropriate Head of College.

  • Heads of College and Vice-Principals will require their statements and subsequent trips to be approved by the University Secretary.

  • With regard to the Principal, any overseas trips should be subject to approval by the Vice-Convenor of Court.

  • If travelling to more remote or dangerous parts of the world, a risk assessment must be undertaken prior to travel in consultation with the Insurance Section of the Finance Department.

  • Foreign currency will be reimbursed in sterling using the nearest applicable exchange rate to the date that the expenses were incurred.


  • Receipts must be obtained for all items of expense of £5 or greater. Without appropriate receipts a claim may be refused. If it is impossible to get a receipt please note the reason for the absence of the receipt on the claim form. If the reason is insufficient reimbursement may be refused.

Payment of Expenses

  • All staff must claim expenses back using the online expenses system. Any exceptions to this must be agreed by the Finance Department.

  • Claims must comply fully with the detailed guidelines on the reimbursement of expenses. These detailed guidelines will be updated by the Finance Department as required by HMRC.

  • Claims should be made as soon as possible and ideally within three months. It is not necessary to collect a month's worth of claims before submitting, claims can be made after each journey.

  • Non-staff reimbursement of expenses should be made using the appropriate expenses form from the Finance Department.

  • All expenses to be reclaimed must be recorded and clearly itemised on the eExpenses system together with the reason the expenses were incurred. Rates for mileage for cars, bikes and motor bikes follow HMRC guidelines, other reimbursement rates are found in the detailed guidelines on the reimbursement of expenses.

  • Payment will be reimbursed via eExpenses to your bank account within 3-5 working days of approval.

Audit and Review

  • Authority to incur expenses has been delegated but the Finance Department will undertake audit procedures to ensure compliance with detailed regulations. Recipients of expenses payments are required to conform to these procedures and may be liable to pay back monies incorrectly claimed. Where claims appear unreasonable or are not correctly authorised or completed, they will be returned unpaid.

  • Checking by Finance Office staff does not remove the responsibility on the authorising signatory to ensure that the claim is in accordance with these regulations.

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