SSI Fellowship funding can be used for any activities that meet both the Fellow's and the Institute’s goals, such as travel to workshops, running training events such as Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry or Library Carpentry, nurturing or contributing to communities of practice, collaborating with other Fellows, or for any other activities that relate to improving computational practice or policy.
Equipment and subscriptions that enhance online activities are also supported but the Institute; note this does not cover the purchase of computers, laptops, tablets, monitors or printers.
In general, we can support anything with a receipt and proof of purchase that furthers your Fellowship aims and is in line with the University of Edinburgh Finance Expenses Policy - we cannot support things that would just be “nice to have”. You must first submit a funding request for approval of the expenses and we will assess on a case by case basis.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
Example expenses for funds
- Registration fees
- Software subscriptions
- Platforms for running events
- Video conferencing services (such as Zoom or Gather.Town)
- Captioning and transcription services (such as Otter.ai)
- Feedback and Q&A services (such as Sli.do or Mentimeter)
- Streaming services (such as Restream)
- Event management (such as Meetup or Easychair)
- Specialist software licenses for running the event (strong justification needed and approved on a case-by-case basis)
- Domain names
- Small hardware accessories ( we cannot cover the purchase of computers, laptops, tablets, monitors or printers)
- Storage and compute services
- Speakers, instructors and helpers
- Speaker fees (this counts as taxable income)
- Instructor fees (for repeat helpers/instructors, this counts as taxable income)
- Honorariums (such as vouchers as a one-off “thank you”, otherwise considered taxable income - see Note on Honorariums below)
- Prizes for online events
- Vouchers (e.g. Redbubble, Amazon, Love2Shop, etc.)
- Hardware accessories
- Sponsorship of events
- In-person event costs
- Room hire
Note on Honorariums
If the volunteers are neither [University of Edinburgh] students nor existing staff members then it is possible to offer gifts as a thank you to volunteers without attracting tax reporting or payment obligations for the University [of Edinburgh] or the volunteers. However, it is good practice to avoid giving anything that sets a precedent for expectation on the part of the volunteer (e.g. if they are regular volunteers who have become accustomed to receiving gifts of vouchers or other items from the University which then incentivises them to come volunteer for work again in future - there is a risk then that the individual shifts from being a volunteer to having worker status). It is also important not to give gifts that the volunteer can benefit from financially such as money, vouchers exchangeable for cash and tangible gifts of appreciable value, as these may be liable for taxation or could affect those claiming state benefits.
As mentioned above, care should be taken with gifts that may be regarded as a reward or perk (something that the volunteer gains in exchange for volunteering), as this may contribute to the creation of a contract with the volunteers, giving them worker or employment status with the associated rights (including National or living wage).
In summary, a genuine one-off gift which a volunteer had not expected to receive, with no obligation and of a reasonable / proportionate amount is acceptable (in terms of value, £50 is lower risk, with £100 being at the top end of the 'reasonable' range) as it really is meant to be a simple 'thank you' with appropriate use of charitable funds also a consideration.
Back to Guidelines for reimbursement of expenses supported by the Software Sustainability Institute