Enabling Digitally Enhanced Science in 2018

Dear reader,

We are proud to present the annual report 2018. The eScience Center continued to collaborate with many partners to advance academic research with digital technologies across all domains. In 2018 our organization grew from 54 to 67 employees. This year, our focus was on managing that growth and strengthening the foundation for our collaborative organization. We launched two new calls for proposals, in collaboration with several new partners, in the areas of space research and research on cardiovascular disease and we kicked off many new projects, in particular in the areas of computational energy research and digital humanities.

An important milestone this year was the launch of our first Flagship project: eWaterCycle II. By focusing the efforts of a number of eScience Research Engineers at one project, we aim to increase our scientific impact on a specific community. eWaterCycle II is a collaboration with hydrology researchers at Delft University of Technology, University of Utrecht, Wageningen University and Deltares. This report features a short story on the eWaterCycle II collaboration.

In November 2018 we hosted the International IEEE eScience Conference. This has been a great opportunity to increase our profile on an international level. Our team worked hard to make this conference a success, and it showed. We welcomed more than 350 participants – more than doubling last year’s number. Our new approach, involving research disciplines from the humanities to astronomy, was received with a lot of enthusiasm by all participants.

And last but not least, after the launch of the Research Software Directory (RSD) in 2017 we are pleased with the interest of national and international partners, resulting in engagement with a series of targeted introduction meetings and workshops. On an international level we did this at the IEEE eScience conference and the DI4R conference. The RSD itself is moving towards a federated setup to make the effort scalable, and the software to setup additional RSDs for partner organizations has been publicly released. This is an important step towards FAIR software.

Looking forward, 2019 will be an important year for the eScience Center. We are organizing an external evaluation, which will take place in the first half of 2019. Over the past years we have worked hard to advance academic research with digital technologies and methodologies, with a great team of eScience experts and many partners across many disciplines. We are proud to present the impact and quality of our work to the review committee.

I hope that you enjoy reading this report and I look forward to another year of successful collaborations.

Prof. Wilco Hazeleger, Director Netherlands eScience Center

66 collaborative projects in 2018

CICERO Noorwegen
Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut
Delft University of Technology
Eindhoven University of Technology
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
MAASTRO clinic
Maastricht University
Maastricht University Medical Centre
Maritime Research Institute Netherlands
Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Den Haag)
Open University
SURF (Utrecht)
Tilburg University
UK Met Office
University of Exeter
University of Groningen
University Medical Center Utrecht
University of Twente
University of Amsterdam
Utrecht University
VU University Amsterdam
VU University Medical Center
Wageningen University
Projects per focus area
Physics & Beyond 13
Sustainability & Environment 16
eScience Methodology 14
Life Sciences & eHealth 13
Humanities & Social Sciences 10
All projects 66

Scientific impact

Our team of eScience experts collaborates with researchers from all disciplines. Below are featured stories on three of our collaborations in 2018. One story features our first Flagship project, eWaterCycle II, which started in 2018. This research project between an internationally renowned domain scientist (supported by a collaborative and excellent scientific community in the Netherlands) and multiple eScience Research Engineers aims to increase the sustainable impact of the eScience Center’s work on academic research.
We also successfully launched two new joint thematic calls: The Big Data & Health Call directed at cardio-vascular diseases, and the GO Call directed at earth and planetary science.

0 We published 46 papers in 2018. View all papers
0 We received 106 project proposals requesting our expertise and funding in 2018.
0 We acquired 8 new externally funded projects.
0 We completed 12 projects in 2018.

Research Software

Software has become an integral part of academic research. The Research Software Directory is one of the vehicles by which the eScience Center aims to encourage the re-use of software across disciplines. Read more about the RSD in the featured blogpost: The Reseach Directory and how it promotes software citation. National partners were very positive about the Research Software Directory – resulting in a series of targeted introductions in meetings, workshops and conferences. The Research Software Directory is now moving towards a federated setup to make it scalable, and the software to setup additional Directories for partner organizations has been publicly released.

0 Number of software packages in the RSD as of November 2018
0 Organizations co-developing our research software
0 Software package with a DOI
0 Projects based on free and open source code
0 Linked scientific publications
0 Unique mainstream media publications
0 Total mentions of our software packages in for example journal articles, presentations, newspaper articles or blog posts

Coordinating eScience

In 2018 we organized several activities and our annual National eScience Symposium to promote eScience in The Netherlands.

International IEEE eScience Conference 2018

Over 350 scientific researchers attended the 14th edition of the International IEEE eScience Conference. This conference brought together leading international researchers and offered a platform for digital technologies to advance research - from the humanities to the physical sciences.
The conference featured 8 workshops, 4 special focused sessions on research disciplines and over 75 talks in total. The aim of this annual conference is cross-fertilization across academic disciplines, to advance academic research by fully exploiting the use of digital technologies.

Read more >

Active in Open Science discussions

During IEEE International eScience Conference 2018 we hosted a special session on ‘Making Open Science a Reality: Rewards, Incentives & Support’ with Stan Gielen (NWO) and Erik Fledderus (SURF). We were active in the National Platform Open Science, and we promoted the practice of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) data, FAIR and open software and the importance of re-use, transparency and reproducibility of research. With various workshops and training for researchers we advocate open science and show how to do open science in practice. We participated in the Horizon 2020 EOSC pilot project with two demonstrations, one in radio-astronomy and one in water resources research. With PLAN-E, the Platform of National eScience Centers in Europe, we organized a workshop on eScience, FAIR Science and the European Open Science Cloud. We participated in discussions on the future of open science in Europe, with a focus on research software. With ePLAN, the platform for data-intensive and compute-intensive research in the Netherlands, we organized a workshop on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) which was attended by many Dutch key stakeholders. In this way we show how advanced digital technologies can be used to do open science in practice.

Research and software: perspectives from different communities

Our work is driven by the challenges faced by academic researchers, which is why we want to deeply understand the needs and objectives of our Principal Investigators. We are convinced that by working together with researchers from different academic disciplines and technology areas we can advance the state of academic research. For this reason we came together with all our Principal Investigators in April 2018, with the goal to jointly signal challenges and to formulate opinions and solutions at the intersection of software and academic research. The day provided valuable new input for the eScience Center on the needs of different research communities.

read more >

Netherlands Research Software Engineer Community

In 2018 we initiated the first meetup of the Netherlands Research Software Engineer Community (NL-RSE), and co-organized the WSSSPE 6.1 Workshop - an international community-driven workshop that promotes sustainable research software. After one year, the community already unites more than 150 research software developers from over 30 institutes across the Netherlands. Visit the NL-RSE website for more information about the community.

Young eScientist Award 2018

Esther Bron (postdoc researcher at the Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, Erasmus MC) has been awarded the Young eScientist Award 2018. Gennady Roshchupkin (Erasmus UMC) and Meike Nauta (University of Twente) were nominated for the award.
The prize aims to stimulate a young scientist demonstrating excellence in eScience: the development or application of digital technology to address scientific challenges. The prize will be used to undertake a joint research project, in which Esther will receive support by eScience Research Engineers.

read more >

Nationale Wetenschaps­agenda VWData Startimpuls­programma

We continued to contribute to the coordination of the NWA Big Data ‘startimpulsprogramma’ VWData – which saw its kick-off in February 2018. VWData consists of several projects with the overarching question of how to use Big Data in a way that is both judicially and ethically responsible and societally acceptable.

read more >

Workshops, trainings and presentations

In collaboration with many other organizations we organized workshops and trainings, and gave presentations on developing and applying research software. We started the year with essential skills workshops where we introduced Scientific Data Analysis in Python and Version Control. We also covered collaboration with Git and GitHub. Our September 2018 round of essential skills focused on good practices in research software using newly developed material from the carpentries (which we helped developing). This workshop was a collaboration with SURFsara with a focus on High Performance Computing for Research.
Next to the essential skills workshops we were also invited to participate in the BQ-Minded summer school, the CLARIAH summer school and the CDT summer school where we covered topics such as Git/Github, Python, Jupyter notebooks, NetCDF and cartopy. For more information on our eScience Academy Workshops, visit the website.

Our budget in 2018

The majority of our budget is directed towards funding and conducting projects. In those projects we connect the world of scientific questions and research challenges from domain sciences with the world of data and computer sciences and digital infrastructures. We want the knowledge and tools we develop in these collaborations to be open to the academic community – part of our budget is therefore directed towards coordination activities, the development of the Research Software Directory and encouraging the re-use of research software through workshops.

Total budget: 6.079 M


About us

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0 New team members
0 Youngest team member
0 Oldest team member
0 Blog posts on eScience-related topics we care about

67 team members

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Design and development
Silo Agency

Elodie Burrillon / HUCOPIX
Annelies Verhelst
Michiel Wijnbergh

Project images
All project images are under Creative Commons copyright licenses. Please refer to the project pages for the appropriate credits.