collage_fellowsphotos_landingpage.jpgThe Software Sustainability Institute is very pleased to announce that “Raising the status of software in research: A survey-based evaluation of the Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship Programme” by Shoaib Sufi and Caroline Jay is now available as a PeerJ Preprint at doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.26849v1

We have been running the Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship Programme since 2012. Up to now, we have recruited 112 Fellows.

In 2017, the Institute ran a research survey asking Fellows from the 2012–2016 cohorts  to report the effect that the programme has had on them, their institutions, their research domains and their careers. The results show that the fellowship plays a wide-ranging role in supporting communities of best practice and skills transfer, and that a significant benefit is the way it has raised the profile of software in research, and those people who develop and advocate for it. Highlights from the survey include:

96% of Fellows say they have benefitted from being a Fellow.

72% of Fellows say being a Fellow has helped advance their careers.


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FellowsBy Raniere Silva, Community Officer, Software Sustainability Institute.

Apply now!

The Fellowship Programme run by the Software Sustainability Institute funds researchers in exchange for their expertise and advice. The main goals of the programme are to engage with individuals who are passionate about research software use and/or development. We help support them to better understand the challenges faced by their domains and help support them as ambassadors for better software practices in their areas of working and Institutions.

Being a Fellow also helps them develop skills and knowledge in their area of software sustainability, empowers them to speak about software sustainability issues and network with like-minded individuals from a wide variety of research areas.

Each Fellow is allocated £3,000 to spend over fifteen months, from 1st January 2018 until 31st March 2019. The funding is flexible to support activities that are beneficial to both the Fellows and the Institute: for instance, to fund travel to conferences, to setup and run workshops, to organise software sustainability sessions at domain conferences, or to host, organise or teach training events, such as Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry…

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Applications for the Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship Programme 2018 will open this Friday 25th August.

The main goals of the Programme are gathering intelligence about research and software from all disciplines, encouraging Fellows to develop their interests in the area of software sustainability (especially in their areas of research) and aiding the Fellows as ambassadors of good software practice in their domains. The programme also supports capacity building, including Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry and Library Carpentry training workshops and policy development initiatives.

Fellows come from a variety of career stages. They have passion for their area, ability to communicate ideas effectively, and a real interest in the role of software in research. The fellowship gives our fellows the opportunity to talk about software in their research domain to a wider audience, network with others who share a passion for software in research, and learn key skills that benefit them and their collaborators.​

Further information is available at the Fellowship Programme page and applications will open on Friday 25th August, 10:00. Register your interest here to be notify when the applications are open.

  • Friday, 25 August 2017 - Fellowship 2018 applications open
  • Friday, 15 September 2017 - Fellowship 2018 Launch Webinar
  • Monday, 9 October 2017 - Fellowship 2018 applications close at 11.59pm BST
  • Tuesday, 31 October 2017 - Shortlist announced
  • Wednesday, 8 November 2017 - Online Selection day (10.30am to 4.00pm)
  • Friday, 24 November 2017 - Offers of fellowships to successful candidates
  • Friday, 8 December 2017 - Official announcement of 2018 Fellows

CW montageBy Melody Sandells, Director at CORES Science and Engineering Limited and Institute Fellow

It was way back in 2012 when I first participated in a Software Sustainability Institute Collaborations Workshop.  As attendance was a condition of my fellowship I had to go, and I had no idea what to expect...

As it turned out, it was one of the best meetings I've ever attended alongside a mix of researchers, software engineers and people from funding bodies. There were some keynote speakers and lightning presentations, which were enthralling, entertaining and I seem to remember laughing quite a bit. There were lots of smaller group activities to discuss diverse topics, some that I knew nothing about but left caring deeply. The collaborations workshop has shaped me to this day more than I’d probably admit, and gifted me some of the colleagues I have now.

I’ve watched a few more collaborations workshops go by with green eyes, particularly the addition of Hack Days. If you want to judge the value of those then look no further than Robin Wilson’s Recipy. I have recently embarked on a new career direction outside traditional academia,…

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Charteris Land, EdinburghBy Shoaib Sufi, Community Lead.

Every year once the Fellowship starts, we get the Fellows together to give them the opportunity to learn about the different parts of the Institute (Training, Community, the Research Software Group, Policy, Communications and the Directorate) so they can better understand how we operate and how to interact with us to produce a good working relationship and better outcomes for their Fellowship.

This year we were in the lovely city of Edinburgh at Charteris Land, University of Edinburgh.  The Institute is headquartered in Edinburgh and it is where three of the new Institute 2017 Fellows are based, making it an ideal location for holding the inaugural. With 18 new Fellows, 14 were there in person, two connected via Skype, one sent a video and only one could not be involved.

The Institute Director, Neil Chue Hong gave an introduction to the Institute, its teams and how it operates; he highlighted Fellows as…

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PhD Candidate, School of Mathematics, University of Southampton


Astrophysics, general relativity, modelling fluids in strong gravitational fields (general relativistic hydrodynamics), burning and explosions, neutron stars, high performance computing, parallel computing

My work

In my PhD research, I model explosions that occur on the surface of neutron stars. From some of these stars, flashes of X-ray radiation are frequently observed. These are thought to be produced by nuclear explosions in a liquid surface layer. Neutron stars are very extreme objects which rotate several hundred times per second and have incredibly strong gravitational fields. I'm investigating what the effects of these strong fields and fast rotation might be on the physics of the explosions. I do this by building numerical simulations, using parallel computing to allow me to run high resolution models in a reasonable length of time. 

As part of my work, I have both built my own codes and used codes built by others in my scientific field. In the process, I have found that often these codes were built primarily with science in mind and therefore could be improved from a software sustainability point of view. It is my goal to use the SSI fellowship to educate my fellow researchers in the importance of reproducible, well tested and well documented code, show how to build more sustainable code and demonstrate how existing codes can be improved so that they meet higher standards of software sustainability. 

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James Baker accepts British Library Labs awardLibrary Carpentry (lead by the James Baker, Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2015) wins the British Library Labs 2016 award for Teaching and Learning on 7th November 2016.

James is using the award fund to run even more Library Carpentry workshops (see the Library Carpentry workshop call).

What is Library Carpentry?

Library Carpentry is made by librarians, for librarians to help you:

  • automate repetitive, boring, error-prone tasks
  • create, maintain and analyse sustainable and reusable data
  • work effectively with IT and systems colleagues
  • better understand the use of software in research
  • and much more…

Library Carpentry introduces you to the fundamentals of computing and provides you with a platform for further self-directed learning. Find out more about Library Carpentry activities.

British Library Labs Awards 2016

The annual BL Labs Awards, introduced in 2015, recognises outstanding and innovative work that has been carried out using the British Library’s digital collections and data. This year, they commend work…

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If you were not able to attend the Fellowship 2017 Informational Webinar, a recording of this event has been made available on the Institute's SoftwareSaved YouTube channel: 

Fellowship 2017 Programme

It's worth watching if you are thinking of applying for a fellowship.

Fellows 2017 imageApplications for the Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship Programme 2017 are now open.

The Institute's Fellowship programme funds researchers in exchange for their expertise and advice.

The main goals of the Programme are gathering intelligence about research and software from all disciplines, encouraging Fellows to develop their interests in the area of software sustainability (especially in their areas of work) and aiding the Fellows as ambassadors of good software practice in their domains. The programme also support capacity building and policy development initiatives. 

Fellows come from a variety of career stages, they demonstrate a passion for their area, the ability to communicate ideas effectively, and a real interest in the role of software in research. Fellows are empowered to talk about software in their research domain to a wider audience, network with others who share a passion for software in research, and learn key skills that benefit them and their collaborators.​

You have to be a UK based researcher when applying for Fellowship, but once you are a Fellow even after your initial funding period you remain a Fellow even if you are then based outside of the UK (terms and conditions do apply). Please see the FAQ for more details about eligibility.

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