Fellows selection

Fellows selection dayBy Shoaib Sufi, Community Lead, Software Sustainability Institute.

It was a mild 2nd of November in the city of Manchester, UK. 29 candidates and nine reviewers congregated in the Atlas rooms of the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester to present their work, take part in discussions, network and be reviewed to see who would be chosen as an Institute Fellow 2017.

Who, how, what; rapid introductions

Each candidate presented an introduction to their professional persona, what they do and what they would do as a fellow. They each had four minutes to present while the reviewers were speedily writing down notes and scores around the content and style of the presentation and the other candidates listened on attentively.

There was some time for questions after the presentations. The focus on the ensuing discussions was on testing and the lack of recognition for spending time on ‘doing software correctly’ in the race to results and publication. The latter issue is a common theme in the workshops and discussions held at the various events run by the Institute and by the wider research software community. There is not a consistent emphasis on doing the computation properly as the results are what is currently being most valued with not enough importance being placed on…

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By Shoaib Sufi, Community Lead, Software Sustainability Institute

There is nothing quite like a competition to bring out the best or worse in people, but when you combine competition with transparency and collaboration you get a high energy event that people feel they have learnt from. They also better understand why decisions around selection are made and if they don’t make it they can decide whether they want to try again; ultimately it allows the cream to rise to the top.

Such was the Fellows 2016 face 2 face selection event that took place in Manchester at the School of Computer Science, University of Manchester on Wednesday 4 November 2015. This brought together 29 candidates which had been whittled down from the 113 that had applied for the Fellowship 2016; they were competing for just 15 places. There were 29 presentations, 12 discussion groups, 12 reports backs, 9 reviewers (comprising 5 Institute staff and 4 existing Institute Fellows) and a resulting 240+ reviews. A busy and packed day which only lasted from 10am to 4.30pm for candidates with a grueling and soul searching provisional candidate ranking and rating exercise for the reviewers from 5pm to 6pm.

Each Candidates spoke about themselves, their work and…

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