The formation of the Society of Research Software Engineering was driven by a community-led campaign. We look to support the everyone in the RSE community, whether they are members of the Society or not. There are various ways in which you can work with RSEs and contribute to the community.



Working Groups (WG)

Special Interest (SIG)

Regional (RG)
Who?TrusteesTrustees + Members + Non-membersTrustees (optional) + Members + Non-membersTrustees (optional) + Members + Non-members
Example– Membership and Finance- Elections InnovationMentoring, RSE Conference HPC ChampionsN8 CIR
Established and managed bySocietySocietyExternal party or communityExternal party or community
AimsGroup of roles and tasks within the trusteesHave a particular aim/goal for the Society and membersSupport and communication between people with a particular interestSupport and communication between people in a particular region/location.
Relationship with society and trusteesCompletely internalMust have at least one trustee Mostly external, would come to society for event funding etc.Mostly external, would come to society for event funding and promotion etc.


Groups of trustees, mostly related to internal processes and the general day-to-day running of the society. Some subgroups might only last for a shorter period of time, e.g. to change the election process. Each subgroup is expected to meet at least once a month and provide an update at the monthly trustee meeting.

Working Groups

These are groups which exist within and on behalf of the Society and its members, they should have at least one trustee member to ensure they stay on track but may contain non-trustees. These additional members may be society members or external people with a specific skill/knowledge that they bring to the group. If a working group contains only trustees and no external members, we treat it similarly to a sub-group and do not require a Terms of Reference document.

Working groups should have some kind of goal/target; for example, the mentoring WG’s goal is to create a new mentorship scheme for members. They need to inform the public and members on their progress regularly, possibly through a blog or news post on the Society website. Furthermore, they must contribute to the Society annual report with an update on their progress.

Further details on how to set up a working group and how to write the terms of reference that will detail the goals, structure and which roles are taken by trustees is provided in the Information.

Once the Terms of Reference document has been written and approved by trustees, the Table of Delegation should be updated to include what the Society and WG each have responsibility for. 

We do not currently require or have a means to integrate a Working Group with our membership system, or voting procedure. We might wish to look into this in the future, if the WGs become large enough.

Special Interest Groups and Regional Groups

These groups are external to the Society, created within the community to fit a particular need such as skill sharing and connectivity. Although the goals of a SIG and Regional group might differ, we would interact with both groups in the same way and so we will refer to both as a SIG from here on. 

We will ask each SIG that wishes formal support from the Society to write a Terms of Reference document to describe their goals, structure and how they will work with the Society trustees. Further information on what we offer to SIGs and how the terms of reference document will be written are included in the Information Pack. Importantly these relationships with external groups might change and if so, we ask that the trustees and SIG committee update the Terms of Reference document as needed. However, our hope is that it is flexible enough to cope for several years to come. 

If you’d like to set up a working group or special interest group, start by reading this information.

Local RSE Groups

If you want to get in touch with a local RSE Group to discuss software engineering work, to discuss careers, to investigate training or anything related to local RSE activities, then visit the RSE Groups page which lists most RSE Groups in the UK. (If you would like us to add your group to this page, please get in touch.)

Regional RSE Groups

As the RSE community has grown, there has been a call for more frequent events and more opportunities for local networking which has led to the development of regional RSE communities. The first community launched in the South East in 2018. If you would like help setting up a new regional community, please get in touch.