Computer programming is not commonly taught to geographers, but the advent of NeoGeography, big data, and open GIS means that programming skills are becoming more important. To help support geographers to begin the process of learning to program, the Software Sustainability Institute and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) have provided support to run an introductory programming pre-conference workshop between 10am and 5pm on Tuesday 29 August at the Society in South Kensington ahead of the society's annual conference.

The workshop will be free to attend, and refreshments and lunch will be provided. As space is limited, interested participants will need to apply for a place at the workshop by completing a short survey about their programming interests and background.

For further information about the workshop and how to apply, please visit the workshop page.

Applications close on Friday 21 July.

Successful applicants will be notified by Tuesday 1 August.

EPSRC has made £35,000 available to support collaboration, share knowledge and build stronger partnerships between UK and US Research Software Engineers (RSEs). The funding is available as travel grants administered by the Software Sustainability Institute of up to £5,000. Research Software Engineers based at UK research organisations and who are working in an EPSRC remit area can apply for this funding.

A four page PDF proposal should be submitted using this application form by the 1st July 2017. This is the initial deadline for the first round of proposals; thereafter, proposals will be assessed on an ongoing monthly basis until all funds have been disbursed. Proposals will be considered by an expert panel including representatives of the Software Sustainability Institute and the UK RSE Community.

This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities around the following topics: 

  • investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software;

  • building collaboration around a particular science area;

  • developing common community codes;

  • building links between computational / computer science and maths. 

This initiative will focus on inward travel of USA-based RSE expertise where there is a demonstrable benefit to the UK, though outward engagement of UK RSEs visiting the US will also be allowed.  

For further details, including…

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The Software Sustainability Institute are very pleased to announce Microsoft as the primary sponsor of the Docker Containers for Reproducible Research Workshop (C4RR). They have offered very kindly Azure Cloud time to every attendee! Azure Container Service supports Docker and can be used to improve reproducible research.

Kenji Takeda, Director, Azure for Research, Microsoft (UK) will present on 28th June. Kenji was one of the speakers at Collaborations Workshop 2017—you can watch the recording of his talk here—and we are very happy to have the opportunity to listen him talking about containers.

Register today! The C4RR will take place at the University of Cambridge from the 28th-29th June 2017.

The FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute (FSCI) at the University of California, San Diego is a week long (31st July to 4th August 2017) summer training course, incorporating intensive coursework, seminar participation, group activities, lectures and hands-on training. Participants will attend courses taught by world-wide leading experts in scholarly communications.

Participants will also have the opportunity  to discuss the latest trends and gain expertise in new technologies in research flow, new forms of publication, new standards and expectations, and new ways of measuring and demonstrating success that are transforming science and scholarship. FSCI is organised by FORCE11 (The Future of Research Communication and eScholarship) in collaboration with the University of California San Diego.

FSCI is intended for anybody who is interested in the developing new world of Scholarly Communication: researchers, librarians, publishers, university and research administration, funders, students, and post docs. There are courses for those who know very little about the current trends and technologies, as well as courses for those who are interested in more advanced topics. Our courses cover Scholarly Communication from a variety of disciplinary and regional and national perspectives. We have courses that will be of interest to the scientist, the social scientist, and the Humanities researcher. There are courses for those who manage, organise, and publish research as well as for the researchers themselves and end-users.

To register, please visit…

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The Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE5.1) will take place on Wednesday 6th September 2017, at the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester.

The call for submissions is now open: WSSSPE5.1 Call for Submissions. The deadline for all submissions is 10th July 2017.

Registration will open soon. To find out more about the workshop, please visit WSSSPE5.1


WSSSPE is an international community-driven organization that promotes sustainable research software by addressing challenges related to the full lifecycle of research software through shared learning and community action. WSSSPE5.1 is the seventh workshop convened since 2015 in an international series that provides opportunities for the community to come together to share experiences and advance practices.

WSSSPE5.1 aims to capture the state of the art in sustainable research software, discuss ongoing efforts to improve it, and identify potential topics to act upon. The workshop will report updates on and evaluations of present efforts from the community, including Working Groups established at past workshops, and suggest and discuss future measures. In order to provide short-term documentation, WSSSPE5.1 will produce a series of speed blogs in addition to the workshop report.

Cloud computing has become a very popular paradigm in computing in general and increasingly in the more demanding field of scientific computing. The RCUK Cloud Working Group has over the last 2 years initiated a series of community events and discussions to help researchers access and exploit cloud computing for their work. One early realisation is the need for practical advice as to how build an application that can be deployed across multiple clouds.

As part of the RCUK Cloud Working Group's series of community events that has been organised over the last two years, EMBL-EBI are pleased to offer  an open workshop and training session 'ResOps: Delivering Science Across Clouds'. The event will take place on Monday 3rd July 2017. The day will provide some basic domain neutral practical experience on working with clouds from the work EMBL-EBI has been doing over the last year.

Attendees should be comfortable with technical scientific computing concepts and operating in and administering a linux environment (i.e. ssh, shell scripts, etc) and will learn about using DevOps technologies (e.g. Ansible, Terraform, Puppet, Docker) to deploy onto OpenStack.

To register, please visit the event page.

As part of their current strategic review of the Janet network and the services it provides to the research and education communities in the UK, Jisc is holding a free one day conference, the Janet Network and services review, on Thursday 15 June 2017 at The Royal Society, London.

This event is focused on the research communities and those who support them within the organisations that connect to Janet. It will be an opportunity to hear about how we are approaching the evolution of the Janet network and for you to comment on this in the context of research networking requirements in various research disciplines.

This will be a full day event, running from 10:00–15:30, featuring morning presentations, lunch, followed by an open discussion time in the afternoon.

For further information, including registration details, visit the Janet network and services review page.

This includes additional background information and some potential discussion topics. In advance of the event, Jisc welcomes any suggestions you may have for discussion topics, or questions that you would like to raise. Please send these via email to David Salmon.

The Institute is helping organise and run a Software Carpentry taster on 18 May 2017 at Digital Humanities @ Manchester Digital Texts workshops.

Together with our colleagues from Research IT, University of Manchester, and University of Sheffield Library, we are running a half-day introduction to the command line and automating tasks for the digital humanities based on the Software and Library Carpentry's shell lesson.

The Carpentry session will take place on the morning of day one of a two-day event comprising of three mini workshops on 18th & 19th May at the School of Digital Humanities in Manchester.

Registration is free and there are still places available.

For other workshops at the same event—run by Pip Willcox, Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford—, see:

In connection with the project “Supercomputing Wales”, Swansea University is looking for up to six High Performance Computing Research Software Engineers at various grades. Working closer with researchers in Engineering, Medicine and Science, these outstanding individuals equipped with both discipline-specific and technical skills will provide software support to researchers across the relevant disciplines. Main duties include code optimisation for current and emerging platform.

Full details are provided at the following Swansea University job vacancies pages:

Research Software Engineers

Senior Research Software Engineers

For informal queries, please contact Professor Biagio Lucini

We need your help with our campaign for Research Software Engineers (i.e. software experts who work in academia).

Last year's survey [1] allowed us to prove that software experts make a huge contribution to research, but often go unacknowledged and are paid less than their research counterparts. To continue our success with this campaign, we need to track how the community evolves over time, so please complete our survey.

It takes around 15 minutes and all demographic questions are non-mandatory.

It would be very helpful if you could forward this email to any software experts you know who work in academia, or anyone who employs software experts in academia.

[1]: See RSE State of the Nation Report 2017, page 21.

About the survey

The purpose of this survey is to collect information about people who develop software that is used in research. We call these people Research Software Engineers (RSEs), but they use many different job titles (including postdoctoral researcher and research assistant).

Please note that this research is not compulsory and even if you decide to participate you can withdraw at any moment.

This study is conducted by the University of Southampton on behalf of the Software Sustainability Institute and complies with University of Southampton ethics guidelines (reference no.: ERGO/FPSE/25269). The investigators are Simon Hettrick and Olivier Philippe. The survey is hosted on Limesurvey servers in Germany and respects the provisions of the Data Protection Act. These records are anonymised and access is strictly protected…

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