Data Carpentry workshop: using APIs to access life science data on the web

  • Wednesday 11 February, London, 09.00 - 17.00.
  • Delegate fee: £30
  • Organisers: Aleksandra Pawlik, University of Manchester & Data Carpentry
  • More information about the workshop

It has been established that the growing number of well-curated and publicly-available datasets can advance research progress in many domains. However, many researchers still lack the data analysis and management skills to most effectively use these datasets. Data must be accessed from remote repositories and large scale analysesconducted with command line tools or programming languages uch as Python or R. Data Carpentry workshops aim to teach these concepts, particularly to researchers with little computational experience.

The workshop is for anyone interested in learning more about using API's and R for accessing and working with life science data or for anyone interested in learning more about Data Carpentry workshops, to see if they would be useful for the researchers they work with in their communities. In particular, the workshop should be useful for anyone working with research domains supported by ELIXIR UK.


  • demonstrate the power of programmatically accessing life science data
  • hands-on learning using API and ROpenSci packages
  • directly experience the Data Carpentry teaching style
  • discuss the applicability of Data Carpentry lessons in participants' own working context
  • hands-on experience on collaborative lesson development (via GitHub)

Want to know how software helps world class research? We've got an app for that!

One of the biggest problems facing researchers is the best way to share their research to as broad an audience as possible. In fact, it’s this important part of research impact, or how academic research makes a contribution to wider society, that is used as one of the yardsticks to judge the success of a research project.

The Software Sustainability Institute has been addressing this problem through its blog, which regularly features articles by researchers from across the disciplines, all of whom have used software to enhance and develop their work. The question, however, was how to make all this fascinating material and the researchers’ output even more accessible.

How to fund research software development

Much research software starts its life thanks to a research grant. But what happens when your code proves useful and you want to extend it or ruggedise it for release to the wider community? Research grants generally can't help because they focus on solving research problems, not improving code. Who should you turn to?

We're putting together a list of funders and funding calls who can help with the costs of improving code. Take a look at our list, and if you'd like to add to it, info [at] software [dot] ac [dot] uk (let us know).

Web Application Developer wanted: Department of Computer Science, Oxford

The Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, are looking for a highly-motivated software engineer to work on a number of projects across the 2020 Science programme. You will work closely with the senior developer in the specification, creation and support of a number of web applications through the full software development life-cycle. The job is paid at grade 7: £30,434 – £37,349 p.a.

The ideal candidate will have a good breadth of understanding of open-source software and web technologies, the flexibility to be able to participate effectively in a number of areas of web application development, and an enthusiasm to learn new technologies quickly. Good communication skills are essential, as is the ability to work within a team and independently as required.

This is a full-time role, but requests to work on a part-time or flexible basis will be considered.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 23 January 2015. Interviews are expected to be held on 5 February 2015.

For more information, visit the job advert.

Vacancy: Corporate Partnerships Associate at Imperial College

Imperial College London is a world-leading, science-based institution and a leader in engaging with industry. The Corporate Partnerships Team plays a key role in supporting these research collaborations and seeks a highly motivated Corporate Partnerships Associate to assist in their development.

The post-holder will work with global companies and our world class researchers to nurture collaborations toward new and exciting scientific discoveries and technologies. The core focus will be as a service provider to the Faculty of Engineering (FoE) and the Associate will work closely with the College’s newly created Data Science Institute and its academic team.

Vacancy: OeRC is on the lookout for a new Research Software Engineer

The Oxford e-Research Centre is looking for a new research software engineer to work on a range of life science and biomedical projects, including the ELIXIR project.

Successful candidates will have experience in Java, Python, web application development, databases and the semantic web. They are also expected to have in-depth knowledge of XML, XSD, CSS and AJAX, and be able to work in a wide range of software environments. A knowledge of agile programming methods and design packages is also highly desirable.

They will also be able to advise and lead a growing range of projects funded by the UK, EU and NIH. As well as ELIXIR, these will include the ISA software suite and the BioSharing registry.

The new RSE will join the Life, Natural and Biomedical Sciences team, led by Dr Susanna Sansone, who is also susanna-assunta [dot] sansone [at] oerc [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk (available for informal queries) about the position.

Vacancies available in software support and development for DiRAC

The theoretical particle physics group (PPT) at the University of Edinburgh has up to four one year positions to assist the DiRAC technical working group with the development of benchmarks for the STFC DiRAC supercomputing facility

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Everyone at the Software Sustainability Institute would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We'll be back with more news on our latest projects, events and initiatives on 5th January 2015.

Collaborations Workshop 2015 (CW15) - HOLD THE DATE - 25-27 March 2015 in Oxford, UK

The Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop 2015 (CW15) will take place in Oxford from the 25-27 March 2015.

The Research Bazaar Conference

A new software conference has been announced, to take place in Melbourne, Australia on 16-18 February 2015.

The Research Bazaar Conference is intended to encourage the development of digital skills and networking amongst researchers and builds on similar doctoral training programmes in the UK and USA.

It will also take place in two halves. The first of these will focus on teaching research students and early career academics in programming, data analysis and other useful digital skills. Included will be workshops that cater for a wide range of subjects from across the sciences and the humanities.