News

EPSRC funding software for the future

Up to £4M of funding is available for projects focused on the development of software that is used in computational science and engineering by the EPSRC's Software for the Future call, which closes on 28 May 2014.

In both the recently published EPSRC E-infrastructure roadmap and the EPSRC Software as an Infrastructure strategy, the importance of software development and the need to invest in people and training in this area has been strongly highlighted. EPSRC has made a long-term commitment to support software development, ensuring that funding continues to support leading scientific research and key codes used by the Engineering and Physical Sciences community.

The Software Sustainability Institute can partner with your bid (as described in appendix 2 of the call). We can provide expertise and effort on best practice for developing reproducible, reusable and reliable software; the role and recruitment of software developers within an academic software team; meeting the software training needs of a research project; and developing a sustainable user and developer community. The Institute can also assist with the creation of the software management plan which is requested as part of the pathways to impact document (see page 6 of the call document).

More information

CW14 - what is reproducibilty? One of our attendees has an answer

Last week's Collaborations Workshop was a productive time for all involved, especially on the Hackday, where attendees developed their own coding projects in competition with other teams. We also used this as an opportunity to ask all those participating what they thought reproducibility really means.

One answer was given by PhD student Dmitrijs Milajevs, who summed it up as "a dream that easily becomes a nightmare," and has gone on to write a blog post where he elaborates on what this means in practice.

Software's role in reproducible research: the latest news

The Collaborations Workshop 2014 kicked off yesterday with over 60 researchers, developers, funders and publishers working on the role of software in reproducible research. "Everything's online", as we say at the workshop, so you don't need to attend to find out what we've been discussing and the outcomes of those discussions. 

For a blow-by-blow account, and views from the attendees, keep an eye on the #CW14 hashtag.

The topics that we will discuss can be found on the Discussion Topics page.

Everyone at the workshop is part of a Google Group which is used to capture the discussions that take place at the workshop. If you want to know the detail of the discussions, take a look at the group.

And if you want to know what we discussed, take a look at the agenda.

Expect to hear more about the latest thinking in reproducible research over today (27 March) and during the CW14 hack day that takes place tomorrow.

Reproducible Research, Dynamic Documents, and Push-Button Publishing

Researchers release a treasure trove of data on the developing retina, pushing the boundaries of neuroscience publishing by presenting it in an unprecedentedly dynamic and reproducible manner.

March 26, 2014, Hong Kong, China –The international open-access journal GigaScience (a BGI and BioMed Central journal) today announces a major step forward for reproducible research and public data-sharing in the neurosciences with the publication and release of a huge cache of electrophysiology data resources. Important for studying visual development, many groups have been using multi-electrode array recordings to look at developmental changes and the effects of various genetic defects on the spontaneous activity of the retina.

GitHub "drinkup" an excellent lead in to the Collaborations Workshop

GitHub - one of this year's sponsors of the Collaborations Workshop - have organised a Drinkup on 25 March. It's an excellent time to meet GitHub's Arfon Smithpeople from the Institute, our Fellows and many of the people who will be attending the workshop.

The Drinkup will take place in Oxford at Raoul's on Tuesday, 25 March at 19:30.

ELIXIR-UK hiring dynamic and knowledgeable people to coordinate life sciences training across Europe

Play your part in upskilling the next generation of scientists across the UK and Europe! ELIXIR-UK is seeking a couple of dynamic individuals to lead the coordination of training in the UK, and across Europe.

EPCC announces three new vacancies

With the launch of its new ARCHER supercomputing service, EPCC is now recruiting. Founded at the University of Edinburgh in 1990, EPCC is a leading European centre of expertise in advanced research and technology transfer. We have three job roles in a variety of areas currently being advertised.

The first role is as an Applications Developer - Computational Science and Engineering. This involves working in the Computational Science and Engineering team who are responsible for the provision of in-depth technical support on the UK national HPC service ARCHER. The role's main responsibility is to provide programming and software engineering solutions for projects using ARCHER, but the role also involves working on other EPCC development projects too.

EPSRC release "Software for the Future II"

In both the recently published EPSRC E-infrastructure roadmap and the EPSRC Software as an Infrastructure strategy, the importance of software development and the need to invest in people and training in this area has been strongly highlighted. EPSRC has made a long-term commitment to support software development, ensuring that funding continues to support leading scientific research and key codes used by the Engineering and Physical Sciences community.

For more details, visit the Software for the Future website.

Subject to quality, up to £4M of funding is available for projects focused on the development of software that is used in computational science and engineering. All proposals submitted to this call must fall within the EPSRC remit.

As part of an on-going series of regular software development calls, the new call from the EPSRC covers the development of novel code, the development of new functionality for existing codes and the development and re-engineering of existing codes. Strategic drivers are: developing code for emerging hardware architectures; developing researchers with key software engineering skills and software sustainability.

In order to allow maximum time for the selection of appropriate reviewers and panel members, all applicants must register their intent to submit using the electronic Intent to submit form on the Software for the Future II call page on the EPSRC website. The form must be submitted to EPSRC by 16:00 on Monday 28 April 2014. Full applications will not be accepted where EPSRC has not received an intent to submit form.

Partner with the Institute on this call

As described in appendix 2 of the call, the Software Sustainability Institute can partner with your bid. We can provide expertise and effort on best practice for developing reproducible, reusable and reliable software; the role and recruitment of software developers within an academic software team; meeting the software training needs of a research project; and developing a sustainable user and developer community.

Help with software management plans

The Institute can assist with the creation of the software management plan which is requested as part of the pathways to impact document (see page 6 of the call document). Further guidance and information on what to consider in the software management plan can also be found in our guide on software management plans (which is referenced on page 6 of the call document).

We need to fight for the people behind research software

By Chris Cannam, Dirk Gorissen, James Hetherington, Simon Hettrick, Caroline Johnson and Mark Woodbridge. 

Today, we're launching a website which marks an important step in our campaign to gain recognition and reward for Research Software Engineers. This campaign will only succeed through weight of numbers. If you agree with the campaign's objectives, then please step up and be counted by sympa [at] mlist [dot] is [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk (body: SUBSCRIBE%20researchsoftwareengineers%40mlist.is.ed.ac.uk) (signing up to the mailing list)!

We believe that better software leads to better research (it's written on our T-shirts), but you can't have better software if you overlook the people who develop it. Back in March 2012 we started to talk about Research Software Engineers (RSEs): people who combine expertise in both research and software development and - it would appear - underpin much of today's research. Academia has not kept up with the rapid pace of change in software-fuelled research, so it lacks the mechanisms to recognise and reward Research Software Engineers. It is this that we are working to change.

There are many things you can do to help the campaign. If you want to see the people behind research software gain the recognition and reward they deserve, please visit the RSE website and - most importantly - sympa [at] mlist [dot] is [dot] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk (body: SUBSCRIBE%20researchsoftwareengineers%40mlist.is.ed.ac.uk) (sign up to the mailing list). The mailing list will keep you up to date with the latest developments in the RSE community and will provide updates on the campaign to support them.

Making it easy to find the training you want

A prototype website - e-training - for finding and advertising e-infrastructure training aims to be the equivalent of rightmove or jobs.ac.uk, but for training. Rather than replicating efforts, it draws together existing information into one website to make it easier to find training.

The people behind the website are now looking for feedback on its concept and design. They also invite comments on further developments, such as:

  • the ability to pull event details directly from partner websites, rather than the partner having to fill in the information manually
  • a widget to allow partners to advertise training relevant to their community, by embedding a filtered subset of the content from the main website
  • the ability for a partner to manage their own entries on the e-training site, for example, by deciding what they wish to publish to the main site if someone tags their project in a post

If you would like to comment on the site, please Claire [dot] devereux [at] stfc [dot] ac [dot] uk (contact Claire Devereux).