How to apply
Each year we try to improve our selection process with the goals of making it faster, fairer and aligned with the long-term goals of the Institute. The application form has six parts:
- About you: personal information (such as name and contact information) and demographic information.
- You and your work: information about where you work and your domain, field, and/or area of work.
- You and software: information we routinely collect to understand the context and environments of those involved in research software.
- Your funding: information about financial support for your research/work.
- Application: information about your plans for the Fellowship.
- More about you (optional section): optional additional personal information such as online profiles.
Below you can find information from our previous year.
The main application is a six-minute voiceover of a slide presentation screencast and reviewers will base the bulk of their decision on it. During shortlisting, applicants are assessed on Ambassadorship (30%) and their Fellowship Plans (70%); you can view the Shortlisting Criteria here.
Below is a suggested format for structuring the screencast:
- Who you are professionally (1 minute suggested)
- What you do (1 minute suggested)
- Your plans for the Fellowship (4 minutes suggested)
We have created an Application Video Guide to help you produce your application video.
In light of the ongoing situation around COVID-19, we encourage applicants to consider that travel and in-person events may not always be feasible, and we particularly welcome plans for the Fellowship with hybrid or online-based activities. You can read more about how our Fellows adapted their plans to make the most of their SSI Fellowship in a COVID-19 world.
We are also pleased to announce that during the Fellowship Programme 2023 round, there will be up to three places for successful international applicants (applicants based outside the UK or without a formal affiliation with a UK-based institution or office).
Because the Institute is UK-funded, applicants who are not based in the UK or who do not have a formal affiliation with a UK-based institution or office will need to demonstrate that their plans for the Fellowship cover points 1 and 2 below:
- Have a focus on improving UK capability, for example
- Feeding in successful research software related initiatives/approaches from abroad into UK-based projects ("I plan to work with project A in the UK to help them incorporate approach B which my lab has been developing"), or
- Adding capacity to do particular tasks and to collaborate with UK-based teams (“I plan to collaborate with UK team Y to contribute Z”).
- Promote UK-based approaches abroad, for example
- Promoting UK-based initiatives, projects or ways of working abroad (such as promoting the Institute, RSE, credit for software, reproducibility, career paths, and skills).
You should also demonstrate how your Fellowship can successfully deliver on its plans if there are potential challenges related to time zones, language barriers or the cost of having to travel large distances.
We note that this round is a continuation of the 2022 pilot to help us identify and address challenges for opening and scaling up the Programme internationally in the future, particularly around finances and logistics. As such, there may be changes to eligibility subject to new information we learn along the way.
Financially, there may be exclusion of some countries/regions due to restrictions around the movement of funds. There will likely be some additional steps in the administration of funds and small discrepancies in the reimbursement of expenses due to differing currency exchange rates.
These are all areas that we are looking to explore and address through this continuing pilot.
Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to participate in the Online Selection Day: a full day of group activities where candidates will be assessed on how they contribute to a session (collaboration and communication skills), and what they contribute to a session (discussion or event planning contributions) - you can view the Selection Criteria here. The Online Selection Day will take place on Thursday, 17 November 2022 from 10:30 - 16:00 GMT (we will provide breaks throughout) - so please save the date! All shortlisted candidates will also be provided free registration to Collaborations Workshop .
The final selection of Fellows will be made based on the combined assessment of the candidates’ performances during the Online Selection Day and the Fellowship Plans proposed in the screencast applications.
Schedule for the Fellowship Programme 2023:
- Monday, 15 August 2022 - Fellowship Programme 2023 applications open
- Thursday, 25 August 2022 - Fellowship Programme 2023 Launch Webinar from 11:00-12:00 BST
- Monday, 3 October 2022 - Applications close at 23:59 BST
- Tuesday, 1 November 2022 - Shortlist confirmed
- Thursday, 17 November 2022 - Online Selection Day (shortlisted candidates should be available from 10:30 to 16:00 GMT)
- Monday, 28 November 2022 - Offers of Fellowships to successful candidates
- Thursday, 15 December 2022 - Official announcement of 2023 Fellows
- January 2023 - Official start of 2023 Fellowships
- You are based in the UK or have a formal affiliation with a UK-based institution or office, or are based outside the UK and are applying to our International Fellowship pilot.
- Your plans are primarily focused on improving UK capability (since the Institute is a UK-funded organisation) and potentially include promoting a UK-based approach abroad.
- You are:
- a researcher who uses and/or develops software/digital tools, or
- a developer who writes tools for researchers, or
- a research software engineer (RSE) who supports the work of researchers with software, or
- an advocate for best practice in software use or development in research, or
- in a leadership role in research projects or organisations that make heavy use of software, or
- a user of research software, or
- passionate about software in research in any way!
As part of the Fellowship Programme 2023, we will offer up to three places for successful international applicants (who will be based outside the UK or without a formal affiliation with a UK-based institution or office). Please read the FAQ for more details about eligibility and international applicants.
Our Fellows come from a wide range of academic areas and career stages, and we encourage applications from anyone who is eligible and is excited by the potential of research software. We particularly encourage applications from people from underrepresented backgrounds (for example, based on ethnicity and gender) and institutions (for example, non-Russell group universities and small to medium-sized research-based organisations).
Successful applicants will be allocated £3,000 to spend over 15 months beginning 1 January 2023. The funding is flexible to support activities that are beneficial to both the Fellow and the Institute. For example, the funding can be used to:
- Organise and run workshops.
- Facilitate software sustainability sessions at conferences.
- Nurture or contribute to communities of practice.
- Attend conferences and events.
- Collaborate with other Fellows.
- Run or participate in policy-related activities.
- Host, organise or teach at training events, such as through the Carpentries.
- Run or attend other events that improve the research software space.
We have put together a list of resources to help guide you through the applications process and what we expect from you at each stage.
This guide is intended to help you produce your application screencast video for the Fellowship Programme. Read more.
The Launch Webinar is an opportunity to learn more about the Software Sustainability Institute, the Fellowship Programme and the application process. The Fellowship Programme 2023 Launch Webinar took place on Thursday, 25 August 2022 from 11:00-12:00 BST.
You can view the criteria by which applications to the Fellowship Programme 2023 will be assessed during shortlisting.