Software and Skills for Large Scale Computing - Participant Information Sheet - Survey

This study was certified according to the EPCC Research Ethics Process. Please take time to read the following information carefully. You should keep this page for your records.


UKRI Digital Research Infrastructure Phase 1 Fund and EPSRC

Who are the researchers? 

  • Mr. Neil Chue Hong, EPCC, University of Edinburgh (Principal Investigator)
  • Prof. Simon Hettrick, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (Co-I)
  • Dr. Rebecca Taylor, Department of Sociology. Social Policy and Criminology, University of Southampton (Co-I)
  • Dr. Elena Breitmoser, EPCC, University of Edinburgh (Project Manager)
  • Dr. Ioanna Lampaki, EPCC, University of Edinburgh (Researcher - Survey and Data Analysis)
  • Dr. Philip Grylls, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (Researcher - Data Analysis)
  • Dr. Anthony Quinn, Faculty of Social Sciences & Department of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (Researcher - Focus Groups)
  • Dr. Michelle Barker (Researcher - Desk Research and Interviews)


What is the purpose of the study? 

The purpose of this study is to deliver a better understanding of the software and skills required for large-scale research computing (including High Performance Computing (HPC), High Throughput Computing (HTC) / Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning and Data Science) in the United Kingdom and recommendations for how policies and support for these should be structured. 


Why have I been asked to take part? 

You have been identified, or identify, as a stakeholder in large-scale research computing, e.g. a user, researcher, research software engineer, infrastructure provider, or trainer/educator. We are particularly keen to ensure that we receive responses from underrepresented groups in research computing, including but not limited to ethnic minorities, disabled persons, persons identifying as female / non-binary, and whose educational background is outside the physical sciences and computer sciences. 


Do I have to take part? 

No – participation in this study is entirely up to you. You can withdraw from the study at any time, without giving a reason. Your rights will not be affected. If you wish to withdraw, contact the PI. We will stop using your data in any publications or presentations submitted after you have withdrawn consent. However, we will keep copies of your original consent, and of your withdrawal request. 


What will happen if I decide to take part?  

If you decide to take part in this study you will be answering questions regarding the use of large-scale computing, software and tools you may be using in your work along with questions regarding required skills and gaps you may have identified related to available support and required skills in the field. The whole questionnaire should not take more than 30 mins to complete. 

Compensation: Taking part in this study will give you the chance to be included in a draw for shopping vouchers. 


Are there any risks associated with taking part? 

There are no significant risks associated with participation 


Are there any benefits associated with taking part? 

On completion of the survey, you may choose to be entered into a draw to receive shopping vouchers.  


What will happen to the results of this study?  

A report and pseudonymised datasets will be published as research outputs. Where low number of participants in a category might allow identification even after replacement of easily attributable identifiers, only aggregate data will be published. With your consent, information can also be used for future research. Your data may be archived for a minimum of 2 years. The results of this study may be summarised in published articles, reports and presentations. Quotes or key findings will be anonymised: We will remove any information that could, in our assessment, allow anyone to identify you.  


Data protection and confidentiality

Your data will be processed in accordance with Data Protection Law.  All information collected about you will be kept strictly confidential. Your data will be referred to by a unique participant number rather than by name. Your personal data will only be viewed by the research team. Pseudonymised data will be shared with our funder, EPSRC, and the partners on this project. 

All electronic data will be stored on a password-protected encrypted computer, or on the University’s secure encrypted cloud storage services (DataShare, ownCloud, or Sharepoint) and all paper records will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the PI’s office. Your consent information will be kept separately from your responses in order to minimise risk.  


What are my data protection rights? 

The University of Edinburgh is a Data Controller for the information you provide. You have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with Data Protection Law. You also have other rights including rights of correction, erasure and objection. For more details, including the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, please visit Questions, comments and requests about your personal data can also be sent to the University Data Protection Officer at  

For general information about how we use your data, go to: 


Who can I contact? 

If you have any further questions about the study, please contact the Principal Investigator, Mr. Neil Chue Hong,  

If you wish to make a complaint about the study, please contact the Chair of the University of Edinburgh’s College of Science and Engineering Research Ethics & Integrity Committee, Prof. Andy Mount,, or fill out the Research Misconduct Informal Reporting Form

When you contact us, please provide the study title and detail the nature of your complaint. 


Updated information. 

If the research project changes in any way, an updated Participant Information Sheet will be made available on the Software Sustainability Institute website: 



By proceeding with the survey, I agree to all of the following statements:  

  • I have read and understood the above information.  

  • I understand that my participation is voluntary, and I can withdraw at any time.  

  • I consent to my anonymised data being used in academic publications and presentations.  

  • I consent to my data being used in future ethically approved research.  

  • I consent to the results of the study being shared and published as research outputs. 

  • I consent to my anonymised data being shared with EPSRC and the project partners. 

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