How to get EPSRC RSE FellowshipBy Christopher Woods, EPSRC RSE fellow, University of Bristol

As one of the RSEs who hit the jackpot and had their EPSRC RSE Fellowship applications funded, I know how crucial it was that my University supported my application. I was very lucky that the University of Bristol provided an excellent letter of support. Among other things, the University committed to a capital budget, management training, and, most importantly, a permanent position helping to create a new Research Software Engineering Group within the Advanced Computing Research Centre in IT Services. These promises demonstrated the partnership and level of commitment that existed between Bristol and myself. I know this was recognised and rated highly by the reviewers and panel.

So, how did I get this level of institutional support? And what recommendations do I have on how you could achieve something similar?

First, I should say that all universities and individuals are different, so this is not a one-size-fits-all objective recipe. However, there are some generalisations that I believe are true.

An RSE Fellowship is a Fellowship

You’re applying for a Fellowship, so the normal advice about how to get a university to support any Fellowship or major grant application is valid. While the Fellowship…

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SciTogBy David Pérez-Suárez, University College London.

Originally published at

Why #SciTog

Since I finished my PhD, I’ve worked on various large e-infrastructure projects which aimed to build bridges between various research sub-disciplines within solar system physics. All these projects were doing a great job for researchers in one area to know the effects (or the source) in a different place. That helps a lot to get the bigger picture and to find out interesting events in an easier manner than before. However, I think that’s just the beginning. A researcher specialised in one area may not understand exactly what’s happening in a different one. We were helping researchers to discover data in other domains but not to connect them with the experts in those areas.

Due to my involvement in open source projects and online communities like Software Carpentry, I knew such a thing was possible with the current tools available. But, why were we not using them? That thought embarked me on this adventure, which is not finished, but its first chapter has just concluded.

Getting there...

As part of my Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship, I organised…

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CW1By Diana Suleimenova, PhD student at Brunel University London.

A couple of weeks ago, the Software Sustainability Institute organised a three-day long Collaborations Workshop for anyone and everyone, but mostly researchers, developers and software engineers that are interested in the implications of open data and the Internet of Things. JISC was pleased to sponsor a travel grant for a PhD student and the prizes on the hack day. Below are Diana Suleimanova’s thoughts on her first Collaboration Workshop.

For those who missed the Collaborations Workshop 2017 (CW17) held at the University of Leeds, or those who have an interest in attending it in the future, let me share my first experiences. I was the lucky PhD student to receive a bursary from Jisc to attend the CW17 organised by the Software Sustainability Institute. I heard about the Collaborations Workshop from previous attendees and I was curious to experience it myself.

The workshop revolved around an important topic for researchers in science, namely Internet of Things (IoT) and Open data: implications for research. In my view, the CW17 can be divided into three parts: share research interests, listen to academics and professionals, and the Hackday. Attendees of the CW17 were able to introduce and share a broad range of research interests…

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PyCon Namibia, Cardiff UniversityBy Nikoleta Glynatsi, Cardiff University.

I recently became a Sustainable Software Institute Fellow as part of the 2017 cohort. During the selection day, I presented my plans and ambitions that I have set for my fellowship year. My list of plans included attending and running a workshop at PyCon Namibia 2017. PyCon Namibia 2017 is the third PyCon within the country and the organising committee include Jessica Upani, Gabriel Nhinda, Daniele Procida and Vincent Knight. My main reason for attending was to assist and observe what I believe to be a developing Python and research community with a great future ahead.

As part of Cardiff University I was quickly introduced to the Phoenix Project and its plans for fighting poverty and promoting health by working together with the University of Namibia to educate people to help themselves to ensure sustainable change.  I was quickly…

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Deadline for submissions 30 April 2017. 

To submit your work, please prepare a short abstract (250 words). 

For full details please visit the workshop's event page.

Women in HPC will once again attend the ISC High Performance Computing conference to discuss diversity and will bring together women from across the international HPC community, providing opportunities to network, showcasing the work of inspiring women and discussing how we can all work towards to improving the under-representation of women in supercomputing.

The Diversifying the HPC community workshop aims to recognise and discuss the challenges faced by women, one of many underrepresented groups that exist in HPC, as well as opportunities for broadening participation in HPC fields and activities to encourage women to enter the field with consideration of differing legislation affecting hiring and employment practices among the different countries. This workshop will take place on Thursday 22nd June 2017 at ISC High Performance Computing conference.

Panel discussion and breakout sessions

We will host a panel discussion and breakout sessions inviting questions and suggestions from the audience on how employers can help diversify the HPC workforce, the obstacles employers face, and sharing best practise across the international community from a variety of HPC employers.

Breakout 1 (Improving Diversity in the Workplace): What methods have you put in place to improve…

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TexGen: Modelling textilesBy Louise Brown, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham and EPSRC Research Software Engineer Fellow

This article is part of our series: A day in the software life, in which researchers from all disciplines discuss the tools that make their or someone else’s research possible.

Composite materials are increasingly used in a wide range of applications, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries. Here their low weight and high strength are a significant advantage, and they will contribute to achieve targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the weight of components and therefore energy used. They comprise a reinforcement embedded in a matrix and may be made up from many combinations of materials, typically glass or carbon fibre in a polymer matrix.  Often the reinforcements are produced in the form of textiles for ease of handling, either layering ‘2D’ weaves to give the required thickness or by creating complex ‘3D’ weaves which can enhance properties and reduce manufacturing time.

Given the many possible combinations of reinforcement textiles and matrix materials, it is beneficial to be able to model these systems so that simulations can be run to predict properties for both manufacturing processes and the final…

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teaching programming outside computer scienceBy Cyril Pernet, University of Edinburgh, Krishna Kumar, University of Cambridge, Laurence Billingham, British Geological Survey.


When: The Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship face-to-face selection day (November 2, 2016) involved several sessions including group discussions. This group discussion was about education and software.

Who: The group was composed of Dr Laurence Billingham, Dr Elena Vataga, Dr Krishna Kumar, Dr Cyril Pernet.

What: The discussion was about teaching programming and best practices at universities: whom we should teach, what should be taught and when…

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Digital History, Humanities, data structuresBy Melodee Beals, Digital Historian at Loughborough University and Software Sustainability Institute fellow

Originally posted at

Historians appear to be quite happy with tables. Tables are neat, orderly repositories of information. Rank and file, we input our names, dates, and other titbits of historical data. Rank and file, we organise our world into an unending supply of lists — lists providing the relevant percentages, absolute enumerations or qualitative descriptions of anything we can imagine. Over the years, of course, our tables have evolved from mere typographical conventions to function-laden spreadsheets, capable of statistical and algebraic functions, textual concatenation, and a host of other minor miracles. Yet, for all the seeming convenience of Microsoft Excel (and its ilk), we pay a hefty price — our time and sanity. “Hyperbole!” I hear you shout. “Nonsense!” I hear you cry. And, when these initial protestations fade, we are left with the ever popular: “I have a system.”

The best laid plans

I’m sure you do; I did. For a very long time, I thought it was an…

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Clare Bridge, CambridgeSome suggested places to book accommodation for Docker Containers for Reproducible Research Workshop in Cambridge. Note that hese are just suggestions based on distance closest to the venue of the workshop and reasonable price.

Or you may wish to look at TripAdvisor or other sites for nearby and available hotels.

Software and decision-making, oncologyBy Jakob Nikolas Kather, MD, MSc, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg, Germany.

This article is part of our series: A day in the software life, in which researchers from all disciplines discuss the tools that make their research possible.

Diagnosis and treatments in oncology

Cancer is a common disease and one of the leading causes of death. If detected at an early stage, some types of cancer can be cured by surgery, but often a tumour is detected at an advanced stage, and its cells have already spread throughout the body. Although many of these patients cannot be completely healed, several different treatment options are available. These treatments make a difference for cancer patients: they can significantly prolong life and often reduce symptoms as well. For each patient, we face the question: which treatment option is optimal at the current point of the disease? Clinical trials in the last decades are providing us with guidance in many situations. Often, there is an established "state of the art" for a treatment that has been shown to be superior to other options. However, as the arsenal of treatment options keeps growing, it is increasingly difficult to compare all options under all circumstances. Also, on the other hand, novel and more…

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