The Software Sustainability Institute has been collaborating on an NSF proposal with a US consortium (led by Dr Karthik Ram from the University of California, Berkeley, and Daniel S. Katz, Jeffrey Carver, Sandra Gesing and Nicholas Weber as co-PIs) to prototype an organisation similar to the Software Sustainability Institute in the United States.

The proposal has resulted in a successful award of $500,000 from the US National Science Foundation to conceptualise a US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI). The work will take place throughout 2018. URSSI will build on the pioneering work done by the UK Software Sustainability Institute and its partners over the last seven years, to develop and deliver similar services to US research software engineers, researchers and universities who are developing scientific codes and software used by thousands of researchers.  To access their holding website and subscribe to their newsletter, please visit

Neil Chue Hong, Director of the Software Sustainability Institute, will be a member of the Advisory Committee for the new Institute. Institute staff will also be involved in workshops run as part of the conceptualisation process throughout the year.

Congratulations to the URSSI team, and we look forward to working with them to expand software sustainability in the United States of America.


Regular Institute collaborator Dr. Jeffrey Carver of the University of Alabama is conducting a couple of studies relating to the way that people develop research software. These will help provide the community with a better understanding of how different practices, including code review and software metrics are being used in the development of research software.

If you'd like to provide input into these studies, please participate in the following web surveys (each of which will take approximately 15 minutes to complete): 

Code review survey (in conjunction with Nasir Eisty of the University of Alabama) :

Software metrics survey (in conjunction with Dr. George Thiruvathukal from Loyola University-Chicago):


Your participation is completely anonymous and voluntary.  You are free not to participate or stop participating any time before you submit your answers. Both research studies have been approved by the University of Alabama Institutional Review Board.

By Simon Hettrick 

Next week, we will be hearing from the successful applicants to last year’s RSE Fellowship, funded by the EPSRC. The Fellows are exceptional individuals in the software field who demonstrate leadership and have combined expertise in programming and a solid knowledge of the research environment.

We’ll first hear from Jeremy Cohen who believes that “research software ought to be easier to use” and will describe his plans to help build communities of RSEs. We’ll hear why Phil Hasnip believes that most physics problems end up being materials problems. Joanna Leng will describe her desire to bring research computing techniques into the imaging community. Finally, we’ll hear from Leila Mureşan who will focus on the field of microscopy imaging.

The EPSRC has recognised the importance of investing in software development and the development of skills and career development for those engaged in software engineering. It is these aspects that this RSE Fellowship addresses. The Software Sustainability Institute and the RSE community campaigned for the development of this Fellowship so, and we are very happy to welcome the new RSE Fellows!

Supercomputer-promo.jpgToday’s supercomputers are the most powerful calculating machines ever invented, capable of performing more than a thousand million calculations every second. This gives scientists and engineers a powerful new tool to study the natural world—computer simulation.

This free 5-week online course will introduce you to what supercomputers are, how they are used and how we can exploit their full computational potential to make scientific breakthroughs. Register for the upcoming run on 15th January at Future Learn

This course was developed by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh and by SURFsara as part of the EC-funded PRACE project.

The Software Sustainability Institute are pleased to announce figshare as Platinum Sponsor of the Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18).

figshare is a repository to share and get credit for all of your research outputs including papers, data, media and code. They were a launch partner with Mozilla and Github in the ‘code as a research object’ project which promotes researchers getting credit for their code. figshare has an integration with Github that allows you to snapshot, archive, get a citable DOI for your code and track the online attention through Altmetric. Recent analysis of the figshare corpus shows that code is 8 of the top 10 cited items. figshare also supports preview of IPython Notebook/Jupyter Notebooks in browser!

Attendees of CW18 will have the opportunity to interact with figshare experts and learn new ways to be more productive when getting credit for their work. Register today for the Collaborations Workshop 2018, which will take place from Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th March 2018 at The School of Mathematics, Cardiff University.

cardforfellows(hols2018).jpgEveryone at the Software Sustainability Institute wishes our friends and colleagues all the best for the holiday season.

In a nutshell, this year has seen the announcement of a wonderful new set of Fellows, a second edition of the RSE conference, even more events, Software and Data Carpentry workshops, and Open Call projects.

After a busy year, we need a little break to get ready for everything we plan to do in  2018, like our Collaborations Workshop 2018. So please excuse us while we switch off our email and social media from the 23rd December to the 3rd January.  

Enjoy the festivities!

Kirstie WhitakerWe are very excited to announce that Kirstie Whitaker will be giving one of the keynote speeches for our Collaborations Workshop 2018 (CW18).

Kirstie Whitaker is a Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute in London, UK. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Medical Physics from the University of British Columbia. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Brain Mapping Unit at the University of Cambridge from 2012 to 2017 and remains a senior research associate in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr Whitaker uses magnetic resonance imaging to study child and adolescent brain development and is a passionate advocate for reproducible neuroscience. She is a Fulbright scholarship alumna and 2016/17 Mozilla Fellow for Science. Kirstie was named, with her collaborator Petra Vertes, as a 2016 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine.

At CW18, Kirstie will talk about culture change based on her long journey as an open science advocate. You may have met her in the past at events like…

Continue Reading

Synthace logoSynthace is looking for a software engineer to continue developing and scaling their products and infrastructure. 

Apply via the Synthace careers website.

The Project

Named by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s 30 Technology Pioneers 2016, Synthace is re-imagining how we work with biology, exponentially improving the speed and quality of the final results. This is made possible through our high-level language and operating system for labs, Antha, which is already impacting how scientists work with biology in major companies.


You’ll be working within a tight-knit development team on exciting projects with plenty of technical challenge to get your teeth into, you will:

  • Design, build, test, and maintain high-performance and scalable microservices in a global, federated container cluster
  • Integrate and deploy custom and off-the-shelf software components
  • Manage deadlines and priorities in a dynamic environment that blends software and wet-lab development
  • Master our current technology stack which includes: Kubernetes Federation, Go, Google Cloud, Docker, and Ansible

Key requirements:

  • BA/BS degree in computer science or equivalent…
Continue Reading

The Software Sustainability Institute and zaf-RSE invite anyone coding in and for academia in South Africa to complete this survey on research software. 

As of now there is not much knowledge about the community of those in research and science who develop software. This survey aims to gain valuable insights into this community in order to support research funders and other institutions to develop strategies and funding programs as well as policies.

Last and this years’ UK surveys [1, 2] allowed to gain valuable insights. We would like to build on the momentum gained in the UK RSE community and help to create a voice for the South African RSE community. Similar surveys will be conducted in Canada, Australia, Norway, the Netherlands, the USA and again in the UK. For reasons of comparability, this survey was closely coordinated with the others. We thank Prof Ilani Loubser from the North-West University's Space Physics programme for working with the NWU eResearch Initiative to provide South African context to the survey.

This survey gives South African researchers and scientist the opportunity to make their point of view and experiences be heard, and thus be part of the development of this community. It would be also very helpful if you could spread the word to others who develop software in the South African research landscape, or anyone who employs software experts in the South African academic landscape.

There are ca. 65 questions in this survey. It takes about 10 - 15 minutes to complete. Please note that this research is not compulsory and even if you decide to participate you can withdraw at any…

Continue Reading

Synthace logoSynthace is looking to hire a talented and experienced front-end engineer to work on the UI to the Antha platform for life science R&D. Synthace offers a package including 25 days’ annual leave + public holidays, company share options, 10% of salary pension contribution, and income protection, life, and private medical insurances.

To apply, please follow the instructions at the Synthace careers page.

The project

Named by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s 30 Technology Pioneers 2016, Synthace is re-imagining how we work with biology, exponentially improving the speed and quality of the final results. This is made possible through our high level language and operating system for labs, Antha, which is already impacting how scientists work with biology in major companies like Dow, Merck and GSK.


  • Contribute to the development of new AnthaOS apps aimed at users from a variety of job roles including biological scientists, data scientists and management.
  • Contribute to the refinement and extension of our existing apps for devising and executing experimental workflows.
  • Optimize speed and responsiveness of the apps and framework

Antha uses a web-based front-end in Google Polymer across both…

Continue Reading