Aleksandra Pawlik, Nokome Bentley and Danielle Robinson, 7 November 2018

Further funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation!

We are pleased to announce that Stencila has received further funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Foundation funded initial development of Stencila in 2017 and their ongoing support has enabled us to develop the underlying architecture, implement and user test initial versions, engage with research communities, and develop strategies for long-term sustainability.

Stencila aims to bridge the gap between code-based reproducible research and research that relies on spreadsheets and other point-and-click software. Today’s popular spreadsheet programs lack interoperability, and hinder reproducibility and openness. We are building open source software that will make it easier for researchers comfortable with coding to collaborate with colleagues who are comfortable in more visual user interfaces. Our tools allow researchers to leverage the power of programming languages within familiar word processor and spreadsheet style applications.

Sloan logo

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supports original research and education related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics. With its assets totalling to over $1.65 billion the Foundation funds projects, fellowships, and research institutes both in the US and internationally.

This grant, of $609,500, will allow us to grow our core team, refine existing software and release new tools and test alternative models for long term sustainability of the project. Code for Science and Society will remain our fiscal sponsor. Activities under this grant will include:

  • Further enhancement of Stencila Sheet’s functionality including visual programming interfaces to complement existing code-based functionality
  • Develop and maintain the infrastructure for research communities to contribute to, and use, domain-specific function libraries accessible from within spreadsheets
  • Improved interoperability with other tools (e.g. Jupyter, RStudio, Google Sheets, Excel)
  • Further develop Stencila Hub as an online collaboration hub for users of Stencila

This grant is amazing news for us and our contributors. We really appreciate the efforts of all contributors but, in particular, Michael Aufreiter, Oliver Buchtala, and Daniel Bellinson from Substance, as well as Ben Shaw. We are also grateful for the invaluable support and guidance from our Advisory Board and the awesome team at Code for Science and Society! Thanks also to all the members of the research community who attended our workshops for their feedback, comments and suggestions over the least 18 months. We really appreciate the time that you gave us and will continue working with all stakeholders to make sure that we meet the needs of researchers across domains and range of skills.

Want to learn more? Follow us on Twitter, join the discussion on the Stencila Community Forum and on our chat channel, or send us an email. The Code for Science & Society team will be on the road this month including at Aaron Swartz Day in San Francisco and will be happy to chat about Stencila’s plans. Contact them at hi@codeforscience.org.