OLS/SSI Fellowship Programme 2023

Helena Lopes (CC-BY)

On this page, we’ve provided more information about the OLS/SSI Fellowship and how it works.


All questions and suggestions should be sent to the OLS/SSI Fellows Management email address: ssi-ols-fellows@we-are-ols.org.


We will use the word “event” to refer to all conferences, meetings, workshops and other events.
The word “expenses” will be used to describe expenses incurred for both travel, subsistence and expenses related to the running of and attending events (for example, allowable purchases to enable Fellowship plans).
The word “Fellow” or “Fellows” will refer to a single Fellow, or all Fellows, in the 2023 Fellowship intake, unless otherwise qualified.
The term “OLS/SSI Fellow” refers to the SSI Fellows that are in partnership with OLS.
The term “OLS community” will refer to any mentors, mentees, experts, employees, and facilitators that have engaged with OLS in all cohorts so far.

The responsibilities of an OLS/SSI Fellow

OLS/SSI Fellows have the following areas of responsibility:


  1. Prepare blog posts about events attended or organised where this has been supported by the Institute’s funds.
  2. Promote the Software Sustainability Institute and its work where appropriate.
  3. Promote the OLS community and its work.
  4. Attend a Fellows Inaugural Meeting in 2023.
  5. Attend the 2023 annual Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop (CW23). This takes place from 2 to 4 May 2023.
  6. Deliver the plans described in your Fellowship application (and make OLS aware of any substantive changes to your plans).
  7. Attend at least three of the hour long Fellows community calls; approximately seven of these are planned over the 15 months of your inaugural period as a Fellow.
  8. Provide feedback and ideas to help the Software Sustainability Institute and their Fellowship programme as well as OLS and its community.
  9. Participate in an online survey to report back on your experiences on being a Fellow in your inaugural period.


Where possible, we encourage you to:

  1. Think about how the work you plan could seed, nurture or contribute to a Community of Practice. Think and plan also how your work could be carried on after your inaugural period (if not by you then perhaps by a successor).
  2. Run an interdisciplinary workshop in your area of work with a focus on building new relationships or exploring cross-over areas which are under-represented.
  3. Run a Software Carpentry workshop and/or a Data Carpentry workshop.
  4. Suggest other uses of the award to further your aims and OLS’s and the Software Sustainability Institute’s aims; these could be focused on your institution, domain or both.
  5. Prepare blog posts on relevant events attended even where OLS and the SSI have not supported the OLS/SSI Fellow’s attendance.
  6. Encourage other Fellows (2023 or earlier) to attend events you have organised (for example, by promoting the event on the all-fellows@software.ac.uk mailing list and the SSI and OLS Slack workspaces).
  7. Work on activities to address specific topics with other Fellows.
  8. Take part in the selection of the following year’s Fellows by taking part in: the review of applications, shortlisting meeting, or online selection meeting related to the Institute’s Fellows 2024 programme. This is in line with the aim of the Institute to have existing Fellows help choose the new cohort: ‘Fellows choosing Fellows’.
  9. Participate in annual surveys that seek to gather information about how the Fellowship has helped all Fellows.
  10. Other relevant activities to Fellow’s or Institute’s interests.

Contract duration

The expenses must be incurred over the period 1 January 2023 to 31 March 2024. The inaugural period of the Fellowship where you have access to your dedicated funds is thus 15 months.

After their inaugural period, Fellows remain as Fellows but they no longer have access to dedicated funds. This is subject to some basic requirements, such as keeping the Institute up to date with your latest e-mail address, some level of engagement with us (for example, helping with Fellows selection or writing/contributing to a blog post), and not bringing the Institute into disrepute by its association with you.


A Fellowship has £3000 of funding. This funding is to aid the Fellow in carrying out their responsibilities as detailed above.

On an annual basis (normally April time), an announcement will be made on the all-fellows@software.ac.uk email list specifying whether there is a communal pot of additional money for Fellows who are past their inauguration period to bid into and how much is available.


We highly encourage OLS/SSI Fellows to find mentors for their Fellowships. Your mentor is someone who agrees to:

  • Meet with you at least twice during your Fellowship period for an hour each time to discuss your career objectives or Fellowship goals and how best to meet them.
  • Happy and willing to promote the fact that you are an OLS/SSI Fellow.
  • Does not mind being contacted via email by the OLS team occasionally to see how we can support them being a mentor.

OLS/SSI Fellows are free to choose their mentor; they could be at the Fellow’s Institute, from their domain or from elsewhere but in a position to advise and/or help the Fellow.

Fellows are expected to get the mentor’s agreement.

Mentors will be paid an honorarium of USD250 at the end of the Fellowship period, and will be invited to participate in a three-hour mentoring training session offered by an external training agency.

Preparing blog posts about events

In exchange for OLS and the Software Sustainability Institute paying their expenses, Fellows will prepare a blog post about the events they attend, workshops they run, and other activities organised where this has been supported by their Fellowship funds.

We recommend reading the Guide for content contributors while preparing your blog post.

Please note: we more than welcome blog posts about relevant opinion articles, events you have organised and attended, and can help publicise them even when the work was not supported by the Institute’s resources.

Any blog posts will be cross-posted on the SSI and OLS sites.

Promotion of the Software Sustainability Institute

Fellows should promote the Software Sustainability Institute where appropriate. For example, we expect Fellows to discuss our work during conversations with interested delegates at conferences and events.

We also require our Fellows to include a slide about the Software Sustainability Institute in their presentation (if we have contributed towards the event) and, where possible, to leave publicity materials (typically A5 flyers and stickers) for distribution at in-person events.

We encourage Fellows to use Twitter and other social media in order to broadcast news about our work.

Please contact fellows-management@software.ac.uk for information about logos and/or slide sets (etc.) that will help you promote the Institute.

Attend a Fellowship Inaugural Meeting in 2023

Fellows will attend an Inaugural SSI Fellows Meeting in early 2023; this is likely to be sometime during January or February 2023 (you will receive a poll asking for your availability). The meeting will give Fellows the opportunity to gain a more thorough introduction to the Institute and learn how they can contribute in a way that is mutually beneficial. It also affords an opportunity to network with others and gain feedback on their planned activities. It will last one day and any expenses incurred will be reimbursed by the Software Sustainability Institute and the expenses will not be deducted from the individual’s £3000 Fellowship budget. The 2023 Inaugural Meeting will either take place online or as a hybrid event (to be confirmed).

Fellows will also be asked to attend a 1-2 hour OLS Fellow onboarding meeting. This will be fully virtual.

Attending the Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop

Fellows will attend the 2023 edition of Collaborations Workshop. This will take place as a hybrid event from 2 to 4 May 2023. Registration, travel and accommodation will be provided by the Software Sustainability Institute and will not be deducted from the individual’s £3000 Fellowship budget.

Promotion of OLS

Fellows should promote OLS where appropriate. For example, we expect Fellows to discuss our work and the community during conversations with interested delegates at conferences and events. We explicitly encourage OLS/SSI Fellows to submit proposals to relevant conferences on behalf of OLS and promote the community’s work there.

We encourage Fellows to use social media in order to broadcast news about our work.


The expense policy will be provided as part of the onboarding process.

What events meet the criteria for funding?

Primarily these will be events that you specified in your Fellowship application.
We are very supportive of events that will help seed, nurture and grow Communities of Practice in a research related area.
Thus we are interested in supporting research-related events that explore:

  • The software being used by researchers to improve their research, and the ways in which that software is being used
  • Current issues relating to software use and development in a specific field or fields of research
  • Researchers who are developing software for other researchers to use
  • Groups who are funding software development or helping researchers with software
  • Other matters pertaining to software in research (but we encourage dialogue with the Fellows Management team prior to an event request)

Supporting equipment and subscriptions that support online activities is also supported by OLS; note this does not cover the purchase of computers, laptops, tablets, monitors or printers.

We expect OLS/SSI Fellows to try and achieve the plans they laid out in their application, however with justification and communication with the OLS team we can take a flexible approach to this.


OLS reserves the right to cancel our contract with a Fellow at any time if OLS or the Software Sustainability Institute deems that a Fellow has not met the terms and conditions described on this page or has brought the Institute into disrepute.

Fellows who are inactive (no approved event requests in 6 months) and non-communicative (not responding to email or other contact requests within a month) risk the cancellation of their contract.

Any Fellow who has their agreement terminated will not be eligible to move onto the continuing Fellowship programme and references to them on the Fellowship pages will be removed.