Three reasons a Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship can supercharge your career

Posted by s.aragon on 11 January 2019 - 9:46am
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Image by The NRMA.

By Yo Yehudi, University of Cambridge

In 2018, Yo joined the Institute as one of our Fellows. She has kindly agreed to write a post about her experience as a Fellow. Here, she details a few reasons for applying to the Fellowship Programme and what being a Fellow has meant for her.

Apply to the Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship Programme 2019 are open until 3 February, 2019.

1. Funding

This one may seem obvious, but I’ll list it anyway. You'll have some money to put towards your dreams, assuming your dreams involve furthering research software in some way, of course! For me, I'd been working on Code is Science for several months prior to applying, and had already missed out on at least one relevant conference where I'd had my application accepted, but I couldn't afford to go. Similarly, I'd shelled out quite a bit of personal cash for simple things like logo stickers as a thank you for open source contributors. So, £3,000 can go a long way towards making your projects successful!

2. The Collaborations Workshop

I suspect if the only thing the Fellowship provided was the Collaborations Workshop, it'd still be worth the time to apply. Spending time meeting and interacting with a large group of like-minded people is amazing, and the workshop isn't a standard sit-there-and-listen-to-talks workshop. It tends to be a great hands-on mix of workshops, discussion sessions, speed-blogs, and hackdays. Personally, I was overjoyed when I managed to co-author the Code is Science Manifesto during Collaborations Workshop 2018 – a goal I'd been planning to focus on for months before, but finally managed to achieve given a dedicated hack day with like-minded people. It’s worth mentioning that for the Fellowship Programme 2019, shortlisted candidates will also be invited to attend Collaborations Workshop 2019 for free (registration, travel and accommodation will be covered by the Institute).

3. A valuable support network

Once a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow, always a fellow. Looking for someone to help out with a training workshop you're delivering, to co-author a blog you're working on, or someone to bounce ideas off? There's a Fellows’ mailing list, a Slack, and you'll meet the Fellows face-to-face several times – probably at the fellows inaugural meeting, the Collaborations Workshop, and quite possibly other times (the RSE conferences and Mozilla Festival are two likely events, but there are probably others too!). It's hard to believe that I've known some of the Fellows in my year (and Software Sustainability Institute staff) only for the last year or so as I already consider them valuable personal friends.

Wrapping up

Since I was inaugurated as a Fellow in earlier 2018, a lot of things have changed for me, and doors I didn't dare dream of opened up. I launched the Code is Science Manifesto (go sign it if you haven’t already!), started editing for the PLOS Open Source Toolkit, joined the Journal of Open Source Software's editorial team, and I was elected board-member at large for the Open Bioinformatics Foundation. Without the Institute, I doubt I would have been able to reach this far – it’s a truly life-changing Fellowship.


Questions about the Programme should be directed to fellows-management@software.ac.uk.

Applications to the Fellowship Programme 2019 are now closed.
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