Software Sustainability Institute to improve research software practices with £6.5 million UKRI funding
The Software Sustainability Institute has been awarded £6.5 million funding to continue its world-leading work helping thousands of UK researchers from all areas to use software to increase the impact of their research. This new third phase of the Institute has been funded by all research councils until 2023.
Since 2010, the Institute has developed and advocated for an understanding of the fundamental importance of research software, its developers and users, its requirements, and how software advances research in the UK.
Over the last eight years it has built a network of over 110 Fellows who act as advocates for software best practice in their research disciplines. These Fellows have published over 80 software-related guides used by researchers across the UK and the world, organised over 180 training events for more than 4,500 researchers to learn the software skills required in modern research, and provided software consultancy to improve the maintainability of over 60 different research projects from across all research councils. The Institute has also been nationally and internationally successful in the creation and advocacy of the Research Software Engineer role and growth of a worldwide community of Research Software Engineers.
“The Institute has been supporting researchers in writing better software since 2010. In its next phase, we will focus on building the evidence bank for practice and policy, to ensure that the software underpinning research in the UK – and internationally – is engineered in the most robust, reliable and reusable way.” Caroline Jay (University of Manchester), the Institute’s Research Director and one of its new Co-Investigators
During the new phase, the Institute will nurture the growth of communities of practice to foster the sharing of expertise across the entire research community, conduct research to provide insight into the use of software in research, continue enabling the widespread adoption of research software practices, and offer training and guidance to help build a capable researcher community and increase the recognition of software in research.
The £6.5 million funding awarded by the Research Councils will aid the Institute’s founding goal of enabling the research community to take full advantage of software and, in doing so, advancing world-class research in the UK.
The Software Sustainability Institute
EPCC is a founding partner of the Institute along with departments at the universities of Manchester, Oxford and Southampton.
The Institute was initially funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in 2010. In 2016 the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) joined EPSRC to further invest and help continue the work of the Institute throughout its second phase.
Software Sustainability Institute website www.software.ac.uk/