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The VRE programme is funded and managed by JISC within the e-Research department. In the second phase of the programme 4 integrating pilot projects are funded.

Virtual Research Environment programme (Phase 2)

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 See Phase 3 of the Virtual Research Environments programme

Programme Phase 2

The Virtual Research Environment (VRE) programme is funded and managed by JISC within the e-Research department.

  • VRE Phase one (2004-2007) 14 projects were funded to explore the definition of and technological solutions for VREs in Research in the UK. Most of these projects have finished but one project will run until December 2007
  • VRE Phase two (2007-2009) 4 integrating pilot projects are funded. All these projects will run until March 2009
  • VRE Phase three (2009-2011) 10 VRE projects focusing on Tools, Frameworks and Interoperability, additionally 4 new reports have been commissioned

VideoDownload VRE videos that give a rundown of 8 of the 15 projects from phase 1 of the VRE programme. You may copy or display all or part of these videos for educational or research purposes only. If you wish to use it for any other purpose, please contact High Quality DVD's are available on request of Frederique van Till (Programme Manager).

VRE definition

VRE helps researchers in all disciplines manage the increasingly complex range of tasks involved in carrying out research The purpose of a VRE is to help researchers in all disciplines manage the increasingly complex range of tasks involved in carrying out research. A VRE will provide a framework of resources to support the underlying processes of research on both small and large scales, particularly for those disciplines which are not well catered for by the current infrastructure.

VREs add value to the research process across all disciplines by complementing and inter-working with existing resources and by being flexible and adaptable to changing requirements. The approach being taken is based on an architecture which is extensible and supports, but does not restrict, the resources needed by individual research teams.

The concept of a VRE is evolving, and the intention of this programme is not to produce a complete VRE, but rather to define and help to develop the common framework and its associated standards and to encourage others to work within this framework to develop and populate VREs with applications, services and resources appropriate to their needs.

General programme aims             

The general aim of the VRE programme is to engage the research community in:

  • building and deploying Virtual Research Environments (VREs) based on currently available tools and frameworks
  • assessing their benefits and shortcomings in supporting the research process
  • improving and extending them to meet the future needs of UK research
  • developing or integrating new tools and frameworks where appropriate solutions do not yet exist

The programme seeks to involve all sectors of the research community and recognises the need to support research activities within and across disciplinary boundaries.

Phase 2 aims

The programme will:

  • stimulate change in research practices through the development and deployment of VRE solutions
  • continue involving and engaging the research community in building and deploying VRE solutions
  • start exploiting and extending such solutions amongst the Higher Education community
  • continue raising awareness of the benefits of VRE solutions in the research community