US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI)

This project is conceptualizing a US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI) that will focus on the entire research software ecosystem — including the people who create, maintain, and use research software — to validate and address various classes of concerns impacting all software development and maintenance projects across all of NSF. BIDS Senior Research Data Scientist Karthik Ram leads this project.

The proposed long-term goals of the institute could include:

  • Help research software projects grow, become sustainable, and develop a governance model
  • Provide developers with good practices
  • Track software impact and usage, which are difficult to measure and interpret
  • Help grantees of major funders communicate and share resources with each other
  • Give the public a better understanding of science
  • Bring more diversity into the field

URSSI conceptualization includes workshops and a widely-distributed survey that will engage important stakeholder communities to learn about the software they produce and use, and the ways they contemplate sustaining it, following the paths blazed by other successful software institutes. The workshops, survey, and community management approach allow the conceptualization project to iteratively build on existing, extensive understanding of the challenges for sustainable software and its developers.

The project also addresses how URSSI could formalize, diversify, and improve the pipeline under which students enter universities, learn about and contribute to software, then graduate to full-time positions where they make use of their software skills, to increase the diversity of those entering research software development and to retain diversity over their university careers.

More information can be found at this NSF website:
NSF Award #1743188 - SI2-S2I2 Conceptualization: Conceptualizing a US Research Software Sustainability Institute (URSSI)