Working with the eScience Center
We are a centre of research expertise that since 2012 has been uniquely positioned as an independent foundation, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Dutch organization for IT in education and research (SURF). The core activities of the eScience Center are carried out by Research Software Engineers (RSEs). RSEs are high-end, university-level specialists who do two things: they do research using digital technologies and methodologies, and they engineer software. We apply innovative and sustainable digital solutions to scientific questions teaming up with researchers from outside the organization in collaborative projects. We also disseminate our expertise by offering training and workshops, liaising with academic communities and publishing online resources, so as to reinforce researchers’ technological skills and knowledge. We have expertise in AI, analytics, data processing, computing and software quality.
What happens after your proposal is granted?
If your proposal gets granted by the eScience Center, one of our Programme Managers will soon contact you to organize an (online) administrative meeting. During this meeting, we will introduce the eScience Center and the way we work on projects. We will also provide more administrative details and discuss the technical expertise needed for your project. Meanwhile, our teams of RSEs, which focus on different research areas and/or technologies, will read your proposal and sign up for the project. The Programme Managers will decide on the team and Lead-RSE to work on your project. Furthermore, each project is assigned a Technology Lead: a technological specialist who looks specifically at the technological quality of the output of the project. Your project is then ready to start.
To start off your project, you will receive a second invitation for a project kick-off meeting, this time at the eScience Center. It is encouraged, if possible, to take your full research team with you. The idea is that both teams, yours and the eScience Center, meet and go in-depth on your proposal. Together with the Programme Manager, Lead RSE and Technology Lead, you will discuss the research questions behind the project and the possible technological solutions. We will revise the working plan and set the initial steps.
Collaborative research project
During the project, you will be in regular contact with the Lead-RSE and their team. The project itself takes the form of a collaboration between you and the eScience Center where we can learn from each other. Although the Lead-RSE is the main point of contact, you are actually benefiting from the expertise of the whole eScience Center: we work in a collaborative style, not only within but also between the teams, where RSEs support and help each other on their projects if needed.
Software communities and recognition
Research software is an integral part of doing research in the current day and age. Increasingly, this is also recognized by rewarding schemes for individual researchers, such as the Recognition and Rewards initiative, or by institutional evaluation schemes, such as the Strategy Evaluation Protocol of the Dutch Universities. The eScience Center publishes of all their work in the Research Software Directory. Good and sustainable software is developed and maintained by communities of users and developers. During the project with the eScience Center, the building or maintaining of such software communities is stimulated so that the software lives on after the end of the project.