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Research Software Funders Forum

The Research Software Funders Forum is a collaboration of funding organisations committed to supporting research software, and those who develop it, as fundamental and vital to research. It provides a formal mechanism for funders to share practices and consider how to address common challenges to achieve the significant cultural change needed across the research sector globally, and is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For further information, please refer to the Terms of Reference.

Software has become an essential constituent of research and research software is starting to be seen as an equal partner of research data in key international policy documents such as UNESCO and the OECD. However, support and recognition of the importance of research software and the people who develop and maintain it, has failed to keep pace with the scale of use of research software in research.

Funders can play a key role in changing practices in the research sector, and an increasing number of funders are now supporting the advancement of research software. Increased focus on research software can provide societal benefits that include accelerating innovation, reducing information-sharing gaps, encouraging innovation, and promoting reproducibility.

The Research Software Funders Forum aims to provide a formal mechanism to increase:

  • Sharing of funding practices for research software and the people that develop and maintain it, and learning about those practices, to encourage reflection and advancement.
  • Consideration of how to address key research software community challenges, both technical and social (such as diversity, equity and inclusivity) to achieve the significant cultural change needed across the research sector globally.
  • Expansion of networks to increase sense of community and identification of collaboration opportunities.
  • Consideration of opportunities to achieve long-term sustainability for research software, especially those that are part of key global infrastructures.

Membership is open to any initiative that funds research software and is free to all participants in 2022. In late 2022 the Funders Forum will review its functioning for 2023, which may include continuing with a free membership model, or transitioning to a paid membership model used by forums such as the Open Research Funders Group. To join please contact info@researchsoft.org.