Research software support onboarding day: connecting communities for better software

Many Dutch knowledge institutions are still figuring out a way to structurally embed software support for researchers within their organization. In consequence, both new and seasoned research software supporters face a number of challenges. Research software supporters often find themselves navigating unfamiliar territory and frequently start from scratch, feeling isolated and unsure of how to receive institutional support. 

This was evident from a survey among attendees of the Research Software Support Onboarding and Networking Day on 20 June, where research support staff from local Digital Competence Centers came together. Organized by LCRDM, the DCC Implementation Network, DCC-PO (Research Support for Applied Sciences) and the Netherlands eScience Center, the event welcomed new colleagues and strengthened connections among existing research software supporters. Designed to ensure new software supporters are successful in their job from the outset, the day focused on sharing resources, building connections and collaboratively addressing challenges.  The day was supported by funding from Open Science NL.

The day included interactive elements where participants had the opportunity to interact with one another and with various communities that promoted research software support. Marta Teperek from Open Science NL welcomed the audience and highlighted funding opportunities for research software, reiterating NWO’s commitment to supporting quality research software. 

Jaro Camphuijsen introduced the eScience Center Research Software Support Masterclass, which is designed to help professionals in research software support gain the skills they need. Five Local Digital Competence Centers (LDCCs) gave lightning talks about research software support at their institutions. Attendees also participated in two rounds of thematic sessions that covered topics like public engagement and support methods, outreach initiatives, training programs, and infrastructure support for research software.  

Prof. dr. Anna-Lena Lamprecht (University of Potsdam) delivered a keynote with practical insights on how to increase researcher motivation to engage with research software.  

In the future, a buddy programme may be set up to link professionals from different institutes together so that they can share experiences, provide mutual support, and collaboratively solve common challenges. We also hope to organize more events for the community in the future! If you are interested in the buddy programme, please contact . For the next in-person eScience Center Research Software Support Masterclass, sign up here.  
 

All slides and photos from the day can be found here.  

Who are we?   

The eScience Center is a research organization dedicated to applying research software to answer research questions in any scientific domain through project collaborations. It has the largest concentration of dedicated, high-level research software expertise in the Netherlands. The eScience Center also has a Fellowship Programme and makes all of its software and training materials openly available online. For more information about what we offer, visit esciencecenter.nl.