Dr Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran awarded SSI Fellowship for 2018

Dr Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran awarded SSI Fellowship for 2018

The Centre's Research Lecturer Dr Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran has been awarded a Fellowship from the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI). The Fellowship programme, which has been running since 2012, funds researchers in exchange for their expertise and advice.

In December 2017 the SSI announced that 17 researchers (pictured below) from around the UK have been awarded Fellowships for 2018, from a wide range of areas, experience, and career stages. The 2018 Fellows represent 11 institutions and eight fields, including Medical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Engineering and Computer Sciences.

Alejandra says of her award, "I am really thrilled to join the community of SSI fellows. This is a great opportunity to connect with other Research Software Engineers (RSEs), participate in and contribute to the SSI activities and have a specific platform to investigate and advocate research software sustainability. Moreover, as a SSI fellow, I will be able to champion the role of software within reproducible research as well as advocate the recognition and reward of RSEs and those who work towards good practices for research software development."

She adds "I would also like to explore the links between research software and research data, the relevant content standards and management processes. Furthermore, I will continue my involvement with the Carpentries (Software and Data Carpentry), teaching in workshops, working towards becoming an instructor trainer and helping out with translation of lessons into Spanish. Last but not least, I would like to promote research software-related topics as part of the workshop that I co-chair: 'Semantics, Analytics and Visualisation: Enhancing Scholarly Dissemination' (SAVE-SD)."

The main goals of the Fellowship Programme are gathering intelligence about research and software from all disciplines, encouraging Fellows to develop their interests in the area of software sustainability (especially in their areas of research) and aiding them as ambassadors of good software practice in their domains. The programme also supports capacity building and policy development initiatives.

Raniere Silva, SSI Community Officer says, "With such a diverse set of Fellows, this year more than 40% are female, bubbling with ideas to take the message that better software leads to better research to their own diverse communities, 2018 is set to be the best year for research software events and endeavours, especially with some amazing conferences, such as EuroPython 2018 and Open Source Summit 2018, being planned to happen in Edinburgh".

Each Fellow is allocated £3,000 to spend over fifteen months. The funding is flexible to support activities that are beneficial to both the Fellows' and the Institute's aims: for instance, to fund travel to conferences, to setup and run workshops, to organise software sustainability sessions at domain conferences, or to host, organise or teach training events, such as Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry or Library Carpentry.

The programme will kick-start with an inaugural meeting for all the 2018 Fellows to give them the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of the Institute. Fellows will also attend the SSI Collaborations Workshop in March 2018, which brings together researchers, developers, funders, publishers and educators to explore best practices and research software.

Alejandra is the second Centre researcher to be awarded an SSI Fellowship – the first being Dr Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller in 2016 (now lecturer in Digital Humanities at the Centre for Digital Humanities Research at the Australian National University).