What is IRIS?

IRIS is a cooperative community driven project helping develop and grow the digital research infrastructure that will allow STFC to continue to play a leading role in world class science.

Fully exploiting scientific experiments, facilities and instruments requires substantial computing resources. Scientists not only need to move, store, and analyse massive amounts of output data but also simulate possible outcomes to better design and target investigation.


Digital research infrastructure refers to the computing related resources needed to support science. Some of the elements that are typically required are:

  • Compute power to process and simulate data

  • Short & long term data storage

  • Tools to allow movement and exploitation of data

  • Communities with the knowledge to allow scientists to share and exploit their data

Click here to find out more about the science activities and infrastructure providers IRIS works with

What does IRIS do?

Grow and develop the scientific computing community
  • Encourage trust, cooperation and expertise sharing​.
  • Facilitate technical discussion and collaborative problem solving​.
Represent the community

Provide a cohesive picture of STFC’s digital research infrastructure needs

  • People
  • Hardware
  • Software

Engage with the national & international digital research infrastructure community.

Support planning of the future UK digital research infrastructure
  • Understand what resources the scientific community needs
  • Establish common practice and policies 
  • Form a “bottom up” roadmap to help shape tomorrows national digital research infrastructure
Invest in hardware & software

In 2018 IRIS received a capital grant from BEIS to enhance, augment & improve federation of the STFC eInfrastructure.

This hardware is commissioned and run by STFC digital infrastructure providers such as SCD, DiRAC, and GridPP on behalf of IRIS.

Allocate and oversee use of hardware

The resource scrutiny and allocation process is a robust and fair cooperative system that investigates the merits of requests and how they can be supported using IRIS funded hardware.

Along with a combined accounting system this allows a realistic picture of needs of science activities to be formed


IRIS is funded by the Science & Technology Facilities Council. 

STFC is one of the seven research councils within UK Research & Innovation. 


UKRI works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.