As part of the Government of Canada’s Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy, CANARIE is transitioning the Research Software Program to the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance). As the Alliance works to develop its approach to a comprehensive software registry, CANARIE will wind down its research software registry at science.canarie.ca at the end of August 2022. Please visit the Alliance’s website or subscribe to their newsletter for more information about research software support and funding.
Our Research Software Program provides funding and support to Canadian researchers so that they have access to world-class software tools that are purpose-built for research. This software could apply to one or multiple stages of the research workflow, from data collection and storage, to processing, and visualization.
Equally important, software funded through this program makes it easier for Canadian researchers across all disciplines to benefit from Canada’s digital research infrastructure, including the National Research and Education Network and high-performance computing resources through, Compute Canada.
And because the functionality of software to support research is often similar, even across different research disciplines the Research Software program advocates for the sharing and re-use of research software throughout all stages of the development lifecycle.
“The more we share, the more we have.” – Leonard Nimoy
Why share software? Because when you don’t have to start from scratch, you accelerate time to discovery. And less time and funding used for software development means more time and funding for the research itself.
Software developed with CANARIE funding is contributed to the Canadian Research Software Registry and is freely available for use by all researchers. Most software in the registry is open source, so if it doesn’t do exactly what you need, it is easy to modify.
Software that will be re-used should be built to a higher standard.
How do you build better software? By promoting software development practices, sharing expertise, and investing in a collaborative community of world-class research software developers.
Through the Canadian Research Software Conference (CRSC) and funding that specifically supports re-use, we’ve invested in the people who develop software, so that it will be sustainable for research in the long term.
All research can benefit from software, but not all researchers have access to software development experts.
Many researchers don’t have the resources to manage software development teams and are unaware of research software that already exists and could be easily adapted to meet their needs. To serve this need, we’re also funding local, expert software teams at institutions to work directly with researchers. These dedicated, full-time research software developers are available to support all researchers at their institutions, regardless of discipline, and provide guidance, training, expertise, and software development specific to advancing research projects.
Research Software Development Funding
We’re proud to have supported 87 research teams by funding and supporting software development projects that were critical to their work.
Canadian Research Software Conference
Each year, we host the Canadian Research Software Conference, where the community of software developers in academia come together to learn and contribute best practices and explore collaboration opportunities.
How we’ve funded software for research has evolved.
Since 2007, CANARIE has been funding Canadian research teams with a need for research software platforms. As we learned more about how software is used by research teams, we evolved what was funded:
Fully custom platforms for individual projects
Platforms that re-used existing software components and produced new ones that could be shared
Platforms that would be shared by other research teams
Local teams of software developers at higher education and research institutions
Transition to New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO)
In 2019, the Government of Canada announced the creation of a new organization, tentatively known as NDRIO, that will fund and support research software in Canada. To maintain a seamless flow of funding and support to Canadian researchers with critical requirements for software, we are working very closely with our colleagues at NDRIO to ensure a smooth transition of the program in 2022.
Currently, we’re delighted to be funding 13 research teams through Funding Call 3, and 6 software development teams at Canadian higher-ed and research institutions, through Local Research Software Support Call 1.
Future funding calls for research software will be announced by NDRIO.
The research software community is global.
Developing software for scientific research is a team sport. The global research software developer community collaborates on best practices, software re-use, and initiatives that foster career development for developers in academia. We’re proud to have represented and promoted the Canadian research software developer community among these international bodies: