Fellowship terms and conditions 2016

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 2016 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 2016.

  4. Attend the annual Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop on March 21st-22nd 2016 (with an optional attendance on 23 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.


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 (2016 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 all-fellows.slack.com 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 2017 programme. This is in line with the aim of the Institute to have existing Fellows help choose the new cohort: ‘Fellows choosing Fellows’.

  8. 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-2016

Fellows will attend an inaugural Fellowship meeting in early-2016; this is likely to be sometime during the last week of January or the first week of February 2016; we will be sending a poll out mid December 2015 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 21-22 March 2016 and they are strongly encouraged to attend the associated Hackday on 23 March 2016.  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 2016 and 10 December 2016. The expenses must be incurred over the period 1 January 2016 to 31 March 2017. After this period of time Fellows can remain as Fellow 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 will be paid from the University of Edinburgh, hence Fellows should follow the University of Edinburgh's expenses policy (as taken from the reimbursement of expenses section on the staff expenses website. Note you need not access to the actual University of Edinburgh staff website but this information is provided for provenance).

Expenses can be:

  • Claimed entirely after the event.
  • Claimed (partially) before the event, when applicable: e.g. if Fellows have to book flights or accommodation in advance of the event, these can be claimed at the time of purchase, rather than waiting  until after the event; in this case Fellows may submit a subsequent claim after the event, relating to expenses incurred whilst at the event.
  • Booked and paid in advance by the Institute; Fellows may choose to get their travel and accommodation arranged by the Institute by following the instructions in the Advance booking section below.
  • Invoiced to the Institute: e.g. in the case where a Fellow is the organiser of an event and needs to pay a supplier, such as catering, venue hire, etc. In this case please contact the Fellows Management team for further instructions.

Note, Fellows may use a combination of the routes above, e.g. booking their flights / trains and accommodation and claiming before the event and then claiming the balance after; or having their flights / trains and accommodation booked by the Institute and claiming the balance after the event.

Whichever method chosen, Fellows are kindly requested not to submit more than 2 / 3 claims for a particular event to reduce administrative overhead.

All expenses forms must be completed as fully as possible and must be supported by receipt(s).

Completed expenses forms and receipts should be scanned and sent to the Fellows Management email address. Here is a sample of properly filled claim (please note, some of the items in the claim are fake and only for example).

Please bear in mind that expenses will normally take on average of 6 weeks to be paid from the time they are handed by Fellows Management (FM) to the University of Edinburgh Accounts office (UEAO); FM will not hand claims over to UEAO until a reasonable draft blog of the event has been received, no blog post will lead to delay in claims and ultimately non-payment of claims. UEAO take 6 weeks due to the time it takes to process external expenses claims by the University of Edinburgh Accounts office.


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 Fellows 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.