Research Software Health Check

The Research Software Health Check is a new, free evaluation service from the Institute to help your research software reach its potential and make it more sustainable.

The deadlines for the next reviews of applications are 29 November 2019 and 31 January 2020.

A lightweight evaluation of your software will provide a set of concrete recommendations for you to help prepare it for future challenges and opportunities. The evaluation can be tailored to focus on any aspects of particular concern to you.

Applications from any UK institution and research area are eligible.

How can we help?

By suggesting new technologies, practices, and other improvements, a Healthcheck can help you to:

  • Save development time and increase your capability to do research by learning new development techniques and technologies
  • Improve reproducibility of results generated by your software
  • Identify areas to improve when sharing your software with others
  • Overcome barriers to releasing research software as open source
  • Satisfy funder requirements for software outputs

As well as improving the software directly, these new skills can be taken forward to benefit your other software projects.  We can also help to promote your software and group's activities via the Institute's blog.

How does a Healthcheck work?

Following an initial discussion with you to scope and schedule the evaluation, an Institute expert will assess your research software over a defined period. At the end of the evaluation, you'll have a brief report complete with observations and advice on how to improve your software.

Who do we work with?

We have worked on over 70 projects since 2010, across disciplines from archaeology to nuclear fusion, and on projects from all funding agencies. We work with both software experts and beginners, with mature projects and ones that are just starting out.

How to apply for a Research Software Healthcheck

Applications are reviewed every couple of months, and you can apply for a Research Software Healthcheck through our quick online application form at any time. We also ask that you fill in our Online Sustainability Evaluation questionnaire first, and include the link to the generated report in your application. This helps us to understand any broader sustainability issues you may be facing with your software.

If you have any questions about this process before completing the forms, please feel free to contact the Institute’s research software lead, Steve Crouch, using our contact email address: info@software.ac.uk.

How are applications assessed?

Applications are reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Does the application demonstrate a clear need to improve in the areas they suggest?
  • Has a link to a generated report from the Institute's Online Sustainability Evaluation questionnaire been included in the application?
  • How well aligned is the project with the Institute's goals?

Timeline

Applications are reviewed every two months and can be submitted at any time.

  • Friday 29 November 2019: submission deadline for applications to be reviewed at the start of December
  • Wednesday 11 December 2019: announce successful applications
  • Mid-December 2019 to end-January 2020: successful applications scheduled for evaluation

The next submission deadline after this one is Friday 31 January 2020.

Further information

If you have any questions please do get in touch at info@software.ac.uk.