One step closer towards collaborations in research software development

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2021

A new Research Software Development Team (RSDT), took its first steps towards strengthening research capabilities and facilitating discoveries. After a successful Call for proposals, ten projects have been selected to receive support in the development of purposeful research software

 

“We are delighted to have reached this milestone for the benefit of the entire uOttawa Research community. By selecting projects from all of the faculties, we strive to provide software development support, encourage coding best practices and spread awareness about the Digital Research Infrastructure across the institution,” explains Paul Mercier, IT Manager and lead for the Research Software Development Team. “I am amazed at the enthusiasm of our researchers and eager to collaborate and support innovation.” 

 

Building our research support community

The selection process took place throughout February. A selection committee comprised of three professors (Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Arts, and Telfer School of Management), one research librarian, and three subject matter experts was convened to evaluate the multidisciplinary submissions.  

Five out of the ten shortlisted projects will be prioritized for this year. The team has already kick-started these projects. As they are completed, the remaining five will be gradually initiated.  

 

Tools that benefit the entire research community

RSDT will work to spread awareness about the community's open-source software tools and support our researchers’ software development needs. They will look at supporting projects that weren't selected, through consultations and workshops on topics like “software development best practices”. 

Our research community demonstrated great zeal for this initiative. The RSDT team aspires to support their research discoveries and contribute to the Canadian research community.

" Our vision is to leverage this opportunity [grant received from CANARIE] to not simply meet an immediate need for a subset of researchers, but to implement a long-term service offering that can benefit many researchers for years to come. We hope this is just the start of many new fantastic research collaborations at the University of Ottawa, and with the national and international research community," explained Daniel Trottier, Senior Director, IT Solutions at the University.

 

Next steps

The selected teams will be active participants and work with their assigned programmer to bring their ideas to life. This will be a close partnership to meet project deadlines and ensure security protocols are observed. Having the research teams directly involved facilitates deep insight into the code and documentation, which facilitates their personal modifications going forward. Using an agile approach, the researchers can adapt the solution to new research needs iteratively and gain better understanding to validate developed code quickly. Existing IT resources will provide support in project management best practices, software development lifecycle, project prioritization and stakeholder management. To encourage engagement and awareness the monthly scientific computing seminars and workshops will be utilized to share topics like software development best practices, version control and open access management.

The Research Software Development Project has been made possible by funding from the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research Industry and Education (CANARIE). To learn more about the team and the shortlisted projects, visit the RSDT website.

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