EPSRC

The Software Sustainability Institute is organising the “Workshop: Impact of international collaborations in research software”, taking place on Tuesday 24th April 2018, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

We welcome submissions of posters from researchers based in the UK that demonstrate the impact of computational research / research enabled by software. We’re particularly looking for examples of how collaboration has benefited your work and will give priority to EPSRC researchers, though all research domain areas will be considered. The best examples will also be offered a short presentation slot (5-10 minutes) at the event.

Submissions (of no more than one A4 page) should include a short description of your research and the software used, an example of the impact it has had, and the role that collaboration has played in your work.

Please submit your proposal via this form by 26th March 2018.

Register for the event at http://bit.ly/rseimpact

Further information

Earlier this year, EPSRC awarded the Software Sustainability Institute and EPCC money to fund UK-US RSE collaboration and to run a “Best Use of Archer competition”. As part of the planned activity funded by this grant, this event will showcase the impact of the awards and provide a space to discuss opportunities to build on international collaboration.…

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5148710483_a9c0c77da4_z.jpgBy Gillian Law.

Joanna Leng is a computational scientist and visualisation expert who will focus her Research Software Engineer (RSE) fellowship on bringing research computing to imaging. She believes that some areas of the imaging community are failing to fully pick up on the potential of computing, and Leng hopes to transform the use of technology in the field to accelerate scientific discovery.  

Leng will develop software on campus at the University of Leeds for three new imaging techniques, collaborating with Sven Schroeder for spectral X-ray imaging, Rik Drummond-Brydson for spectral electron microscopy imaging and Michelle Peckham for super-resolution light microscopy, in partnership with Diamond Light Source, SuperSTEM and the SCI Institute in Utah, USA.

With 20 years of experience in imaging, visualisation and High Performance Computing (HPC), Leng brings a broad network of contacts to her fellowship, having been interested in imaging and visualisation since her undergraduate degree in biophysics at the University of Leeds. After university, she retrained in computer science, looking for a better paid career, only to “realise at the last minute that I couldn’t face working for one of the banks!” That moment of clarity “brought her to her senses”, and she moved to work in visualisation at the University of Manchester at the Computer Graphics Unit that shortly afterwards hosted an academic…

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8897696003_c549d5e58e_z.jpgBy Gillian Law.

Physicist and new RSE fellow Phil Hasnip specialises in software to predict materials properties, and in making that software accessible to all researchers.

Hasnip believes that most physics problems end up being materials problems. “You want a better battery? You need a better battery material. A better turbine? You need a stronger material for the blades. Wherever you look, materials are key.” says Hasnip. Running experiments on these potential new materials is expensive and difficult, so using computational methods to either predict what a material might do, or to explain what is going in on experiments, is incredibly useful.

Having completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge followed by several post doc positions, Hasnip is now at the University of York where he is developing tools including the CASTEP program which uses quantum mechanics to compute the properties of materials and chemicals.

There is a constant tension in research between taking the time to improve the tools used and getting research results, Hasnip says, and he hopes to use his fellowship as an opportunity to focus on improving the tools available and making them more accessible to all researchers, rather than just those with computational skills. “Many of the tools being used aren’t really high enough quality. They’ve been developed by researchers who are good scientists…

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8523276256_b32bcc2df2_z.jpgBy Gillian Law

Research software ought to be easier to use, says newly appointed 2018 RSE Fellow Jeremy Cohen.

A computer scientist by background, Cohen has spent the bulk of his career to date in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, supporting scientists in their research. “I’ve worked in a lot of domains, offering applied computing research to support scientists in various areas” he says. This has included using high-performance computing platforms and cloud-computing infrastructure.

“Of course, in general scientists tend to have some computing knowledge, but they often have very much a domain-focused view,” Cohen says. He aims to make their codes easier to access and use. Even if the scientist could do it themselves, they may end up doing it in a more complicated or inefficient way if they’re learning as they go along, “so I aim to make life simpler and let them focus on the science, not the computing.” Good code can also help scientists to make their modelling and simulation work more accessible to their broader team. “There’s often a lot of post processing needed on a model or simulation and so what I’m trying to do is bridge the gaps, or glue together different processes, and simplify complex things. Again, we’re working with people who are very experienced and they can do this work themselves, but we can help them to do it much more effectively.” That opens up the code to…

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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!

We are pleased to announce the awardees from the final round of the EPSRC USA-UK Research Software Engineer Travel fund applications. This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities to help with: investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software; building collaboration around a particular science area; developing common community codes; and building links between computational / computer science and mathematics.

We have now closed applications for this funding.

Awardees

Alys Brett

Alys Brett, on behalf of the UK RSE association’s RSE Leaders group, has been awarded money to enable USA RSE group leaders to travel to take part in the two-day International RSE leaders meeting in London at the Alan Turing Institute in early 2018. Alys Brett is Head of Software Development Group at the UK Atomic Energy Authority and will be organising the meeting and site visits to UK RSE groups along with other applicants from the RSE Leaders group including Robert Haines (Manchester), James Hetherington (UCL), Simon Hettrick (Southampton), Mark Turner (Newcastle), Chris Woods (Bristol) and Claire Wyatt (RSE Community Coordinator).

Filippo Spiga

The University of Cambridge group led by Filippo Spiga, in collaboration with Jeffrey Salmond and Krishna Kumar, has been awarded money from the EPSRC RSE Travel fund to facilitate the visit of Christian Trott and H. Carter Edwards, main developers and contributors of Kokkos C++. Both software sustainability and performance portability are…

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We are pleased to announce the next awardees from the EPSRC USA-UK Research Software Engineer Travel fund. This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities to help with: investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software; building collaboration around a particular science area; developing common community codes; and building links between computational / computer science and mathematics. The deadline for the next round of the fund is 1st September.

Awardees

A consortium led by Dr James Hetherington, Head of the Research Software Development Group at UCL and Head of Research Engineering at the Alan Turing Institute, comprising the five Alan Turing Institute partners (UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, and University of Warwick) has been awarded money to help establish an ongoing exchange program with the three US Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments at University of California Berkeley, New York University and the University of Washington. The funding will help to bring across leading data scientists / RSEs including Dr Ariel Rokem, Dr Claudio Silva, Dr Jacob VanderPlas, and Dr Stéfan van der Walt, for an un-conference event hosted at the ATI to identify collaborations and visits to partner sites.

Dr David Henty, group manager at EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded money to support the visit of Dr Elsa…

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We are pleased to announce the first two awardees from the EPSRC USA-UK Research Software Engineer Travel fund. This funding aims to encourage greater collaboration between the UK and USA-based Research Software Engineer communities to help with: investigating emerging hardware and the impact on software; building collaboration around a particular science area; developing common community codes; and building links between computational / computer science and mathematics. The deadline for the next round of the fund is 1st August.

Awardees

Dr Chris Richardson, EPSRC Research Software Engineering Fellow at the University of Cambridge BP Institute and core developer of the FEnICS software environment for finite element analysis, has been awarded money to enable the visit to the UK of Greg von Winckel, the developer of the ROL optimisation library based at Sandia National Labs. Greg will give seminars in Oxford and Cambridge to share knowledge of the current capabilities of the underlying ROL library and work with Chris and his team on code sprints to develop PyROL, a Python interface to ROL that will enable integration with FEnICS and other codes.

Dr Martin Turner, currently Relationship Manager in the University of Manchester, has had related overlapping secondments being Visualisation Director for the Harwell Imaging Partnership (HIP) at STFC/RAL and Visualisation Group Leader within the Scientific Computing Division in STFC/DL, has been awarded money to support the visit of Marcus D. Hanwell, Technical Leader at Kitware, and lead for the…

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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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Please note that all funds under this initiative have now been allocated - this page is for archive purposes only.

Key dates

  • Deadline for applications: 1st of each month, until all funds disbursed. This fund is now closed.

  • Funding decision made: two weeks after deadline

  • Impact Event: TBC

  • Fund spending deadline: 31st March 2018

Background

EPSRC has made a sum of £35,000 available to support collaboration, share knowledge and build stronger partnerships between UK and US Research Software Engineers (RSEs).

The Software Sustainability Institute, acting through the University of Edinburgh, will administer this initiative and make grants available to support objectives such as sharing specific expertise or projects, or promoting and sharing RSE experiences with international centres.

An initial round of funding will target applications from individual EPSRC RSE Fellows, and organisation-led proposals from the UK Research Software Engineer Leaders Network, and the UK RSE Association. Following this, applications will be open to any UK-based RSEs working in an EPSRC remit area.

Aims and Scope

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;

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