By Shoaib Sufi, Community Lead

September was an active month. It’s funny as autumn enters in the UK, the academic world is in spring with new students, new projects and a re-invigoration after the traditional holiday period.

In this month's update read more about how Fellows 2016 is progressing, the rise of the Institute's Software Credit Workshop and other news from the Community.

However, before we start - the Community team is recruiting a Research Software Specialist. If you are keen to run events, support Fellows, build bridges to support research software and gain data about the community to analyse and publish, then this role is for you! Applications close 18 October 2015 - this post is also open to international applicants.

Fellows 2016

By the time you read this, the applications for Institute Fellows 2016 will have closed. There was a webinar earlier in the month explaining what we were looking for in Fellows and we had Fellows Natalie Stanford, Alys Brett and Sarah Mount in attendance explaining their reasons for applying and how they have benefitted from the programme.

If you did not apply this year and are considering…

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The Francis Crick Institute (the Crick) is a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Wellcome Trust, University College London (UCL), Imperial College London and King’s College London. It is a registered charity whose purpose is to conduct biomedical research into all aspects of human health and disease.

The Institute will be a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It will promote connections between researchers and disciplines and between academic institutions, healthcare organisations and businesses. Dedicated to research excellence, the institute will have the scale, vision and expertise to tackle the most challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease. It will be world-class with a strong national role — training scientists and developing ideas for public good. On 1 April 2015, staff from the London Research Institute (CRUK) and National Institute for Medical Research (MRC) transferred to the Crick to form a fully functional research institute on four sites. In 2016, the Crick will move to a single new, purpose built research centre in St. Pancras, which will house some 1,500 staff.

The position of Bioinformatics Officer – Scientific Computing for Mass Spectrometry Data has been created to implement the planning, operation and maintenance of a software infrastructure for the analysis and sharing of Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics data. Emerging mass spectrometry applications in the ‘omics’ area such as proteomics and metabolomics generate an increasing amount of raw data. To efficiently test biological hypotheses using mass spectrometry and to deal with large amounts of data it is…

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Defra are looking for high calibre scientists and economists for public appointment positions this autumn.

Defra is responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry and sustaining a thriving rural economy. This means the work of the Department and its agencies has a major impact on people’s day-to-day lives, from the food we eat and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.

Scientific advice plays a vital role in this work and Defra are now looking for high calibre scientists and economists for public appointment positions on the boards of a range of their public bodies this autumn.

For more information, visit the gov.uk site.

There are four positions being advertised for research software engineers and data scientists by EPCC. Founded at the University of Edinburgh in 1990, EPCC is a leading European centre of expertise in advanced research, technology transfer and the provision of supercomputer services. The variety of work gives staff exciting opportunities to develop skills in a wide range of areas.



EPCC is largely self-funded from a wide range of sources including UK research grants, European Union projects and commercial contracts. EPCC's staff work with our partners and clients to provide collaborative research, training and computing solutions. Staff have the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects in a number of different areas. All these activities mesh closely together, enjoying significant mutual leverage. The variety of work gives all staff exciting opportunities to develop skills in a wide range of areas.

The positions, with links to more details, are:

Successful candidates will be able to develop their careers while working in a diverse and…

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The Oxford e-Research Centre is looking for a Research Software Engineer to join their team. The ideal candidate will be a motivated individual with software engineering experience (web application frameworks or backend development) and leadership ability to contribute to:

  • a growing portfolio of data and knowledge management projects funded by several UK, EU, NIH and pharma-funded projects,
  • infrastructure activities for the ELIXIR-UK node of the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE programme,
  • two NIH Big Data to Knowledge Initiative’s centres around data indexing and metadata registry.

The successful candidate will be joining a group running a number of projects. For more details and instructions on how to apply, visit the Oxford recruitment website.

STFC is seeking a Data Repository Developer to join its team at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory helping to design and build systems to manage and cross-link research outputs in support of the scientists and engineers of STFC.



The STFC Scientific Computing Department has a programme of development and support of large scale data management through the research lifecycle for STFC funded facilities (e.g. ISIS, CLF, DLS) and is looking to improve provision of services which support the long-term management of data which underpins the academic publication.



They are looking to recruit a highly motivated individual to join the team working in this area.



Please see: http://www.topcareer.jobs/Vacancy/irc197213_5630.aspx for more information and details on how to apply.



Closing Date: 7th September 2015

The High Performance Computing Service at the University of Cambridge are recruiting an HPC Consultant to work under the direction of the Head of Scientific Computing Support. The role-holder will undertake research and service duties across several projects in the context of the core mission of the Scientific Computing support team. By joining HPCS, the role holder will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of exciting projects in the High Performance Computing and Big Data fields. HPCS have several collaborations currently running with various University groups around Research Software development and deployment, national and international scientific projects (DiRAC and Square Kilometre Array), and long-term established industrial relationships (DELL/Intel Solution Centre, Jaguar Land Rover).

Link to the job advertisement: http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/6759/

The deadline is Friday September 4th. Interviews will be scheduled on Tuesday September 15th.

For more information, please contact Filippo Spiga.

By Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director and Policy Lead.

This is the third in a series of blog posts taking you behind the scenes at the Institute. Today, we here about the recent activities of the Policy team.

Thus far in 2015, the efforts of the policy team have mainly been focused on providing data and support for the Institute’s funding bid for a second phase. With this out of the way, July has seen the policy team re-focusing on research. We’ve also had time to catch up with our Research Software Engineer campaign and added a new member of staff.

Surveying further

In October 2014, we ran a nationwide survey to determine researchers’ views on software. We were keen to quickly analyse and publish these results and get the preliminary message out. Due to staff availability, we ended up conducting this first pass analysis in Excel. Although we published our analysis, Excel is not the best package for transparency, which is why we rightly received opprobrium from open-data advocates. But we reasoned that our approach would be acceptable as long as we repeated and extended the work in a more transparent manner in the future.

Our new starter this July, Olivier Philippe, arrived with some serious R skills and was immediately tasked with making the survey analysis…

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The Pirbright Institute is recruiting a Bioinformatics e-Learning Officer to improve the provision of training of bioinformatics and biomathematics within the Institute, and liaising with training efforts at other institutes strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). This post is to develop training materials for bioinformatics, with a particular focus on e-learning to ensure maximum use of the materials. This will include adapting existing training material in basic statistics and bioinformatics and developing new material for areas where there is a particular need at the Institute. For example, this could include sequence analysis (including next-generation sequencing data), phylogeny reconstruction or transcriptomics. The post provides a unique opportunity in gaining experience of scientific training in an emerging and rapidly developing field at a world-leading institution.

Further details: http://www.pirbright.ac.uk/jobs/PDFDisplayPage.aspx?id=200​

Closing date: 6th September 2015

Flowminder is a non-profit organisation that produces revolutionary analyses for humanitarian purposes based on mobile phone call records. It is used to assist local governments and the UN in responding to major events, such as the Nepal earthquake and the Ebola epidemic.

We are looking for an experienced Python programmer to work full-time with us until the end of December 2015, with the potential for further work after this date. You would be writing code to process large volumes of mobile phone data, producing outputs for aid agencies and performing analyses of these outputs. A professional approach is essential, as you will be producing potentially life-saving information for global agencies using sensitive data.

You must be able to write well-documented, maintainable code, and will have significant experience in Python, along with skills in one or more of:

  • Python data analysis libraries (such as pandas, numpy and matplotlib
  • Version control
  • Automated testing
  • Linux server administration
  • Statistics
  • Machine Learning

Salary: £700 per week. Ideally you will be located in Southampton, UK. Other solutions with repeated travel to Southampton can be discussed.

For further information please contact Robin Wilson