Fellowship Programme 2020: 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 2020 Fellowship intake, unless otherwise qualified.

The responsibilities of a Fellow

Fellows have the following areas of responsibility:


  1. Prepare blog posts about events attended or organised where this 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 2020.

  4. Attend the 2020 annual Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop (CW20). This takes place from March 31st to 2nd of April 2020).

  5. Attend the 2021 Collaborations Workshop (CW21). This is likely to take place in late March/early April 2021 and last for three days.

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

  7. Attend at least three of the hour long monthly Fellows community calls that will run over the 15 months of your inaugural period as a Fellow.

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

  9. Participate in an online survey in early April 2021 to report back on your experiences on being a Fellow in your inaugural period.


Where possible, we encourage you to:

  1. Think about how the work you plan could see, nurture or contribute to a Community of Practice. Think and plan also how your work could be carried on after your inaugural period (if not by you then perhaps by a successor).

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. Prepare blog posts on relevant events attended even where the Institute has not supported the Fellow's attendance.

  6. Encourage other Fellows (2020 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.

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

  8. Take part in the selection of the following year’s Fellows by taking part in: the review of applications, shortlisting meeting, face to face selection meeting, or online selection meeting related to the Institute's Fellows 2021 programme. This is in line with the aim of the Institute to have existing Fellows help choose the new cohort: ‘Fellows choosing Fellows’.

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

  10. 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. To understand our approach to editing your work, you can read our article on Top tips for editing other people's writing.

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-2020

Fellows will attend an inaugural Fellowship meeting in early-2020; this is likely to be sometime during late January to early February 2020; you should have received a poll asking for your availability in your offer email. 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 2020 edition of Collaborations Workshop. This takes place from 31st March to 2nd April 2020. Expenses will be reimbursed by the Software Sustainability Institute and will not be deducted from the individual £3000 Fellows budget.

Possibly run a Carpentries Workshop

A Fellow can elect to run a Carpentries 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 Carpentries 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 requests for attending/organising events that will incur expenses. Requests for use of your funds should be made no later than one month before the event takes place. The expenses must be incurred over the period 1st January 2020 to 5th April 2021. The inaugural period of Fellowship where you have access to your dedicated funds is thus 15 months and 5 days. After this period of time Fellows can remain as Fellows but they no longer have access to dedicated funds.

In most circumstances, Fellows must submit requests for attending/organising events that will incur expenses. Requests for use of your funds should be made no later than one month before the event takes place. The expenses must be incurred over the period 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2021. The inaugural period of Fellowship where you have access to your dedicated funds is thus 24 months. After this period of time Fellows can remain as Fellows but they no longer have access to dedicated funds. Note, the inaugural period for Fellows is normally around 15 months, given the situation and impact of COVID-19 we have extended this period by almost 9 months (on 12 March 2020) to allow activities to take place which may have been disrupted.

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 (normally April time) an announcement will be made on the all-fellows@software.ac.uk email 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?

Primarily these will be events that you specified in your Fellowship application.

We are very supportive of events that will help seed, nurture and grow Communities of Practice is a research related area.

Thus we are interested in supporting research related events that explore:

  • 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 The Carpentries workshop, 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

    • What successful outcomes from the event might look like

    • 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.

  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

Guidelines here.

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, the full policy is available here. 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 as a Fellow (or being supported by a Fellow) 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 receipt and:

    • Scan it (form+receipts) and submit it on 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.

  • 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.

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 your 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 will not be paid until the Fellow submits their blog post in a publishable state on the event.

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.