Virtual Institute for Scientific Software

VISS supports the launch of a network of scientific software engineering centers at several research universities that are working to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery.



The Virtual Institute for Scientific Software seeks to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery through the support and development of better quality, more sustainable scientific software. Starting with a network of four inaugural centers based at the University of Cambridge, Georgia Institute of Technology, the Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Washington, VISS will address the growing demand for high quality professional software engineers who can build dynamic, scalable, open software to facilitate accelerated scientific discovery across fields. The objective of these scientific software centers is to not only improve the quality of research and accelerate advancements, but to also support longer term platforms and systems that encourage best practice in open science. This will be achieved by providing scientific researchers with access to full-time professional engineers and state of the art technology and techniques such as high-end computing, massive databases, and machine learning.

Our Institutes

Advancing Science through Software Engineering

The Software Centers will be run by a major research university chosen by Schmidt Sciences, and will collaborate closely with Schmidt Sciences’ network of Virtual Institutes, currently focused on the areas of Earth Science and Astrophysics, and projected to grow this year into areas like Advanced Computing and Manufacturing. Each Center will be composed of a Faculty Director, Center Engineering Lead, and a robust team of Research Software Engineers (RSEs) and computational scientists, to be selected by the partner universities. RSEs, highly qualified software experts with dual backgrounds in science, will work closely with university researchers to design and implement platform-grade code to be utilized and expanded over several years.

Our Partners

Inaugural Virtual Institutes for Scientific Software

Work we’re doing for science

We build networks of brilliant researchers at different career stages. We lead Virtual Institutes of Science to solve hard problems across locations and fields using modern tools.