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SSI announces collaboration with three UKRI Innovation Scholar funded projects

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Selina Aragon

Selina Aragon

Associate Director of Operations

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SSI announces collaboration with three UKRI Innovation Scholar funded projects

Posted by s.aragon on 8 March 2021 - 10:00am

Code falling from top of screenPhoto courtesy of Markus Spiske

The Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) is excited to announce its involvement in three successful bids to the UKRI Innovation Scholars: Data Science Training in Health and Bioscience initiative. The programme’s key objective is to produce training opportunities for researchers in areas ranging from bioinformatics to the social sciences, to give them the self-confidence and skills to manage and analyse their data. 

In partnership with The Carpentries, the SSI has coordinated, developed and delivered training in research software to thousands of researchers in the UK over the past ten years. Collaborating with three of the eight funded projects will bring together the SSI’s extensive training expertise towards improving research software practices within the Health and Bioscience domains. 

SSI Director, Neil Chue Hong, adds:

“Training for researchers is the foundation for building better research software practice. Today, researchers require more than basic digital literacy – and the Software Sustainability Institute is delighted to be partnering with three initiatives that are developing and delivering open, accessible courses that target the skills required by health and bioscience researchers.”

The three successful projects are led by researchers at Edinburgh, York and Bradford's universities, in collaboration with an appointed lead from the SSI. 

Data driven life science skills development - equipping society for the future (Ed-DaSH)

Ed-DaSH is a two-year programme led by Alison Meynert from the University of Edinburgh, and Giacomo Peru, SSI project officer and Edinburgh Carpentries (EdCarp) lead. The project will work towards developing and delivering new training resources among the health and bioscience community.

Alison Meynert states: 

“Health and bioscience researchers at all levels need the confidence and ability to analyse their own data. As IGMM Bioinformatics Analysis Core Manager, I’m excited to be leading the Ed-DaSH programme alongside colleagues across the University of Edinburgh to develop and deliver training materials for statistics, data management, and computational workflows. The Carpentries methodology lets us build our workshops in a stable system with a built in twin legacy of open source material and the ability to train new instructors.”

Ed-DaSH is a partnership between the Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Edinburgh Carpentries, the Statistics Consultancy Unit, and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. 

Cloud-SPAN

James Chong and Emma Rand from the University of York lead the Cloud-SPAN project, in collaboration with Neil Chue Hong, SSI Director. The project will make use of collaborations with major cloud compute providers (Amazon Web Services and Google) to train environmental biotechnology researchers, and the research software engineers that support them, to run specialised analyses on cloud-based high performance computing infrastructure.

Cloud-SPAN will develop highly accessible resources which integrate with existing Carpentries courses and offer Diversity Scholarships to cover travel and/or childcare to enable members of underrepresented groups to participate in online or in-person training.

James and Emma say: 

"We are delighted to bring together research excellence in environmental 'omics and  pedagogical expertise in data science with the Software Sustainability Institute's leading role in creating sustainable research software to develop Findable,  Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) resources that serve the needs of a diverse scientific community."

Environmental biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that plays a critical role in meeting global challenges such as Net Zero, climate change, waste management and increased demand and attracts researchers from a broad range of disciplines including Mathematics, Engineering, Biology, Social Sciences, Management, Physics and Chemistry.

ELIXIR-UK

Led by Krzysztof Poterlowicz from the University of Bradford and Robert Andrews from Cardiff University, in collaboration with Shoaib Sufi, SSI Community Lead and Carole Goble, Co-director of the ELIXIR-UK, the ELIXIR UK project, will establish a national Data Stewardship training programme, exploiting a wealth of resources and expertise within the European ELIXIR programme to manage and safe-guard the increasing volume of data generated by publicly funded research. 

Krzysztof Poterlowicz comments: 

“ELIXIR-UK are excited to announce our new FAIR Data Stewardship Training project funded by UKRI. The strong knowledge and resource base that we have cultivated as ELIXIR-UK means we have the expertise and resources required to offer innovative training in data stewardship to the UK research community. We are pleased to be working with SSI to develop our new training fellowship, which will facilitate much needed data steward training and community building across UK organisations.”

Carole Goble adds:

“The FAIR Data Stewardship training project enables ELIXIR-UK to establish a national data stewardship training programme for researchers and their support staff working in the Life Sciences.  We have been leading many FAIR data activities with European partners in ELIXIR, and now we have the means to bring that know-how and training to the UK”

ELIXIR-UK will be guided by a pool of experts and practitioners and delivery will be taken by establishing a Life Science Data Stewardship Fellowship Programme which will work in partnership with core project staff. 

See other funded projects by the UKRI Scholar Innovation call.

 

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