Open Call for SSI in Software Performance Optimization

Improving run-time performance of research software (Closed for submission)

This call is now closed.

Purpose of this call 

This call for proposals supports researchers in small-scale initiatives (SSI) who want to significantly improve the run-time performance of their research software, but who need additional expertise to achieve this. Simply put: we can help you make your research software run faster through software performance optimization!

This call welcomes all researchers who want to answer a research question relevant to their discipline, but who are prevented from making progress by the speed of their research software in its current form. 

Typical problems that you may be faced with include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • “We need to perform text analysis on our entire corpus of scanned legal documents, but this will take months”;
  • “Our medical visualisation tool does not allow interactive browsing through all our generated results, but we really need that to be able to answer our research questions”;
  • “We need to run our environmental simulation across a larger surface area, ideally globally, to better validate our model”;
  • “Our image processing software pipeline has one bottleneck stalling all our research progress; this really needs to be improved”;
  • “Analysing and plotting the results of our simulations is going to take days, which prevents us from exploring the data to find significant results.”

This call is for proposal is intended to help solve such software optimization problems.

Does this sound like the opportunity you were looking for? Then look no further. For more information about this call for proposals, including how our research software engineers (RSEs) can help, how to prepare the application, assessment procedure and more, be sure to download the full call here.


Who can apply?

Lead Applicant 

Each proposal is to be formally submitted by a single named researcher (henceforth the ‘lead applicant’ or LA) on behalf of a group of researchers (the ‘research team’). The LA must:

  • be in possession of a PhD;
  • be employed by a Dutch research performing organisation (Appendix A);
  • have demonstrable knowledge and experience in applying digital methodologies to research;
  • be one of the (contributing) developers of the research software used in the envisaged project; and
  • be free to spend a significant amount of time on the proposed project (to be specified on the application template). 

The LA may submit only one proposal in that capacity in this call, and may not be the Principal Investigator or LA in one of the currently running projects of the eScience Center. 

Research Team 

Small-Scale Initiatives are a collaborative effort of a coherent research team led by the LA. Teams may include PhD students as well as academic staff, and may represent different disciplines, faculties, levels of expertise, etc. Employees of institutes for higher education (hogeschool) may also participate in a research team. Research teams comprising a mix of researchers from different universities or institutes are encouraged to apply. The research team must:

  • consist of 3 to 5 members (including the LA);
  • consist of:
    • experienced users or developers of the research software; and/or
    • researchers sharing a strong interest in the proposed scientific showcase,
  • be free to spend a significant amount of time on the proposed project (to be specified on the application template).

Submitting the application

Proposals have to be submitted by email, using the required application template. The deadline for submission is 29 October 2021, 14:00 (CET). Please send the filled-in application template to

Contact details

If you have specific questions about this call for proposals or the assessment procedure, please contact:

Other opportunities

We are always open for opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues! Be sure to check out our other calls for proposals.