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URSSI Community Workshop 4: Software Incubators

February 11-12, 2019, College Park, Maryland.

Welcome to the repository for the Software incubators of the US Research Software Sustainability Institute conceptualization. A brief schedule and plan for the workshop is below.

Our main goal in this workshop is to envision a plan for URSSI supporting new and existing software projects that face challenges in attracting contributors and maintainers, setting up a governance model, seeking out or managing funding sources, and generally developing reusable research software.

At the first URSSI community meeting in Berkeley (April 2018) there was a good deal of enthusiasm for URSSI setting up and running a new incubator program, or developing outreach activities that would help support sustainability efforts within existing incubator programs. We hope to use this focused workshop to further flesh out those initial ideas, gather relevant knowledge about models of fostering succesful research software projects (from a variety of disciplines and domains), and come away with a plan to incorporate this information into a future proposal for NSF to fund URSSI.

Meeting Location

Meetings both days will take place at the University of Maryland's Physical Sciences Complex (PSC) in room 1136 (take elevator up one floor). This is ~10 min walk from the hotel where most attendees are staying. There is a shuttle available via concierge. (Please see the map below).

Directions to Hotel

There are many ways to get to the hotel depending on your airport arrival. Check directions here. There is also a complimentary shuttle provided by the hotel that connects to Public transportation (arrange with the conceirge).

Wifi Access Information

The easiest way to connect to the UMD Guest Wifi are through these directions. There is also eduRoam available.

Lunch and Coffee There is no food allowed in the room that we are now using for the workshop so this limits our ability to have catered lunches. There is a cafe located in the Physical Sciences Complex that serves breakfast and light lunch options. We plan to take a 1.5 hour lunch break on day one, and I will provide nearby (walkable) options. I'll also make a dinner reservation on the 11th depending on interest from the group. If you arrive early on Sunday and are looking for a place to eat (outside of the hotel) there are lots of nearby dinining options

Tentative schedule

The workshop will consist mostly of presentations and discussion. We are a small group so we will likely limit the amount of break out groups in favor of a full discussion. If you are giving a presentation you can upload directly to the github repository or use this Google Drive folder

February 11th

Time Activity
830-9 Set-up / Room Open
9-10 Introductions, Overview of workshop goals, and URSSI activities - Nic + Dan
10-11 Lightning talks from Incubators [Micaela, Abby, Andy, Suresh]
11-12 Discussion and Break out groups (1)
12-1:30 Lunch
1:30 -2:30 More lightning talks
2:30 - 5 Breakouts and discussions (Theme: TBA). Break for 20 minutes at 3

February 12th

Time Activity
9-10 Research Presentations (Dan S. + Kevin)
10 - 11 Discussion - Let's design an incubator
12 - 1 Lunch
1 - 3 Continued discssion / wrap-up

We will break at 3 to catch flights, but we have the room at UM until 6pm if you want to stay and work.

Confirmed participants


  • Nic Weber, University of Washington - Information School
  • Daniel S. Katz, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - NCSA
  • Peter Teuben, University of Maryalnd


  • Ashley Sands, IMLS
  • Sebastian Benthal, NYU
  • Michael Brennan, Ford Foundation (Dec 12)
  • Danielle Robinson, Code for Science
  • Kevin Crowston, Syracuse
  • Suresh Marru, Indiana Universitu / The Apache Foundation
  • Josh Greenburg, Sloan
  • Chris Mentzel, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Andy Terrel, NumFocus
  • Micaela Parker, University of Washington - eScience Institute
  • Abby Cabunoc Mayes, Mozilla Foundation
  • David Lesmes, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Kelcy Shepherd, IMLS
  • Dan Sholler, University of California, Berkeley
  • Alice Allen, University of Maryland


  • Sandra Gessing, Notre Dame
  • Annie Burgess, ESIP
  • Jeff Carver, University of Alabama

Map to Room Meeting Location

Route to Meeting Room


Repository for incubator workshop planning, organizing, and convening.



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