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Newsletter – August 2021

Please pass this newsletter on to any of your colleagues who might be interested.

Welcome to the August newsletter from The Society of Research Software Engineering! Our monthly newsletter announces new Society initiatives, gathers RSE news, events, blogs, papers and anything else interesting and relevant together in one place. If you would like to add an item or suggest a new section to the next newsletter, submit it via this short form or get in touch with Claire Wyatt, RSE Community Manager.

Newsletter Contents:
>Society Update
>RSE Case Studies and Profiles
>Blog posts
>Community info
>RSE Worldwide

Society Update

AGM and Elections:

The third election of trustees of the Society of Research Software Engineering will be taking place this September, along with our Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM will take place on Thursday 30th September 2021 at 10am. Nominations for the election were open from Monday 2nd August until midnight at the end of Monday 23rd August. In order to be eligible to vote in this election, you must be a member of the Society at the time the election opens on Tuesday 7th September 2021, so if you’re not yet a member join us now! Please read this post on our website for more information on how this year’s election will work.

Opt-in to get offers and information from commercial partners

On request from our members, we have now implemented a separate communication option for emails with information from our commercial partners (such as discounts on their products). In your membership preferences on Whitefuse you have now the possibility to opt-in to receive commercial offers and announcements. Login to your account, select “Communication” on the left under “My account”, and check the “Offers and information from commercial partners” checkbox.

RSE Career Pathway Event: The presentations of our RSE Careers event are now available on the SocRSE YouTube channel along with the Q&A Panel. We are currently in the process of finalising our summary of the event and the survey we sent out after the event, and will share the report with you as well as with UKRI and other funding agencies.

International RSE Day: The International Council of RSE Associations around the world are keen to celebrate RSEs and RSE work on an annually recognised ‘International RSE Day’ on October 14th 2021. The Council encourages events to be organised at the local level by those who would like to get involved.

RSE Conference 2021 – SeptembRSE update

SeptembRSE – Timetable Now Live!
We are happy to announce that our timetable for the SeptembRSE conference is now live. Head over to the website and checkout what talks, panels, discussion and walkthroughs are scheduled. With sessions spread over the entire month you should be more than able to attend those presentations you are keen to listen to.

And Registration is open! Registration provides month-long access to 30+ live #SeptembRSE sessions, session recordings, and our gather.town interactive online conference centre. Tickets cost £15 for members of the Society of Research Software Engineering and £35 for non-members.

We’re excited to announce that the SeptembRSE conference store is NOW OPEN! Here you will find lots of fun conference shirts, stickers, and bag designs to hopefully fit in everyone’s budget. All proceeds go back into the Society to fund more events and initiatives for the whole community.

Pilot Mentoring Programme being launched at SeptembRSE

Launch date: 21st September 2021 at this SeptembRSE Session

The Society is really excited to announce that we’re organising our first pilot mentoring programme and we’re launching it on the 21st September during SeptembRSE. Come along to hear all about it at the link above. We are looking for mentors and mentees to join the programme and if you are interested in participating, after the launch, an application form will be available until 13th October with the programme kicking off early November.

Mentoring is a developmental dialogue between two people and can be a powerful developmental relationship. It is a process of ongoing support and development, which can tackle issues and problems identified by the mentee. Anybody at any stage of their life or career can benefit from having a mentor, whether it is deep personalised learning with someone with substantially more experience or having a sounding board with a peer.

Often individuals can benefit from having more than one mentor in their life if they are going through a period of intense change. Mentoring taps into a basic instinct most people share – the desire to pass on their learning or to support development and help another person fulfil their potential.

Mentoring is also a confidential, offline (not with your line manager) partnership between two people based on understanding and trust. Its chief aim is to build on self-reliance and self-confidence in the mentee. It is a positive, developmental relationship which is driven primarily by the mentee, but it is also a two-way learning relationship and an effective mentor will learn so much from the relationship as well.

Training and support to both mentors and mentees will all be delivered through interactive online briefings. Initially the mentoring programme will run and be supported for 9 months but some mentoring relationships may continue after this period if they wish to. More info.

Trustee Updates

You can keep up to date with trustee meetings as we have shared a summary of Society monthly trustee meetings including the decision log. And, Trustee role descriptions are on our website now. The trustees had our usual monthly meeting on the 6th August 2021 and continue to work hard on various initiatives. As before, we provide updates from some of the trustees below to give you more detail on the types of things we are working on.

Claire Wyatt, Vice-President and Community Manager, Communications Co-lead: This month I’ve mostly been working on the Annual Report and SeptembRSE. For SeptembRSE, I am involved in several sessions: ‘Meet the RSE Fellows and hear abou thte Open Fellowship Scheme‘, ‘Launch event of the UK Regional RSE Groups SIG‘, ‘RSE Diversity Workshop‘ and the Society AGM. I’m also on the comms sub group and have been tweeting and posting messages on slack about all sorts of things. Follow us on twitter if you don’t already for all the latest news!
Also, I’ve drafted a new policy for procurement with a process for all trustees to follow which should go to vote at September’s trustee meeting to be adopted into practice.

Teri Forey, Secretary: This month I have been working on a number of different items in the run up to SeptembRSE and the AGM. As part of the governance group I’ve been working on writing and editing the annual report, as well as planning the AGM agenda. I’ve also been working on the Society booth for SeptembRSE; creating a note-board webpage that’ll let attendees access everything the Society is doing at the conference. I’ve also been prepping the workshop that we’ll be running on September 27th, where we’ll be exploring the diversity of RSE roles.

Ian Cottam, Membership Team Lead  and Communications team:  The Society is at 477 members as of 26th August 2021. From 23-29 August 2021 Dell UK are providing a flash sale (i.e. extra discount above the norm) on certain laptops to our paid-up members who are UK-based. Details have been sent out to members. Like colleagues, I have also worked on the Annual Report.

Marion Weinzierl, Communications Co-lead, Membership Team: I’ve been busy with preparations for SeptembRSE — watch out for our RSE Role Diversity workshop, and our workshop in Regional RSE groups! Then there was, of course, the writing of the Annual Report all trustees are involved in, the regular comms and membership work, as well as contributing to our governance review.

Matt Williams, Finance: This month there have been continued preparations for the conference. We’ve been seeing ticket sales come in and it looks like it’s going to be a really good event. We set up a t-shirt shop at https://socrse.myspreadshop.co.uk where you can buy SeptembRSE shirts, hoodies, stickers etc. where some part of the revenue goes back to supporting the society. In preparation for the AGM at the end of September, we had some of potential constitutional tweaks checked over by a solictor and everything looks good so far. Details of this will be going out in the announcement for the AGM. Finally, if you happen to be buying anything from Amazon, you can ask them to send a small portion of their profits from the sale to us as a donation through their Amazon Smile programme. You can select the society as your chosen charity by going to https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1182455-0

Joanna Leng, Diversity: Joanna is no longer a SocRSE trustee.

Society Events and Initiatives Funding Policy

The RSE Society is able to provide financial support for events and initiatives which support our mission statement and charitable objectives (see our constitution section). These are summarized below.

Society’s Charitable Mission Statement: “Our mission is to establish a research environment that recognises the vital role of software in research. We work to increase software skills across everyone in research, to promote collaboration between researchers and software experts, and to support the creation of an academic career path for Research Software Engineers.

The objectives of the RSE Society are:

  • To advance education particularly but not exclusively amongst research software engineers; and/or 
  • To promote and advance research particularly but not exclusively in all aspects of research that rely on software engineering and to publish the useful results.

See our strategy for 2020/2021 for further details about our planned activities to support these objectives. Read the full SocRSE Events and Initiatives Sponsorship Policy here. 

Building Human Capacity Development With a Sponsored Training: Data Science With R Syntax‘ is a recent success of the funding policy. Dr Timothy Ogunleye recently trained up 80 people in Nigeria after applying for funding from the Society. Read about it at the blog post link above.

Membership and Mailing list

Thanks and welcome to all who have joined the Society in the last month. New members of both the Society and the mailing list are always welcome. We have 477 members with several thousand people forming the online community on the RSE Slack space.  Sign up for membership! There are three options for payment: credit card, debit card or direct debit.

Currently the members benefits are:

  • Support the work of the Society to further research software engineering
  • Eligible to apply for any future opportunities for Society funding
  • Opportunity for early registration to the Society annual conference and/or reduced fee
  • Opportunity for early registration to any future Society’s professional and networking events
  • Eligible to vote in Society decisions such as electing trustees or changing the constitution
  • Eligible to stand for election as a trustee
  • Eligible to be a volunteer or be nominated for working groups or committees that the trustees may establish
  • Up to 20% discount on a variety of Dell laptops, desktops and accessories (UK-based members)

RSE Slack space and channels

We have >3000 members in our Slack workspace! There are 120 public slack channels in the RSE space that you can join so feel free to explore by clicking on the +  on the left hand side, next to ‘Channels’ and then ‘Browse Channels’. If you joined the slack space recently, you were automatically added to these channels:- #general, #random, #introductions– where we can all get to know each other more and hear about you and your work,  #jobs – where you can post and see new vacancies and #events – to read and post about any relevant interesting events, and the #training channel.  If you’ve been here a while you might not be in those channels so use the + to join them and browse all the other channels available. We’d like to encourage everyone to introduce themselves in the #introductions channel…Connect to the RSE Community by joining the RSE Slack https://society-rse.org/about/contact/

RSE Vacancies – You can post an RSE role or a role supporting RSEs to the vacancy page on the Society website via a form.

You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Complaints and Grievances Policy

We hope that you feel that the Society Trustees are approachable and listen to your concerns and suggestions. If there are any serious complaints, our Complaints and Grievances Policy outlines the process of how you can raise them.


Research Software Camp: Call for RSE volunteers
The Software Sustainability Institute is looking for RSEs who wish to become mentors in the volunteer programme, part of our autumn Research Software Camp: Beyond the Spreadsheet All mentee volunteers are new to coding or at a beginner level, but wish to develop their skills. We will pair mentors and mentees according to their language or tools of interest. We would ask mentors to commit a maximum of 1 hr every week to walk their mentees through their projects. If you’re interested in helping out or wish to find out more, please get in touch with Selina Aragon ([email protected]). 

Software Citation made easy by Github: Software is an important research output and should be cited in the same way that papers, etc., are cited. This has just been made easier: GitHub now displays software citation information in repositories, if they contain a citation metadata file (CITATION.cff) in the Citation File Format (CFF). You can read the full story on the Software Sustainability Institute website. There’s also a blog post from github ‘Enhanced support for citations on GitHub‘ and a blog post from Force11 ‘A step forward for software citation: GitHub’s enhanced software citation support

EPSRC call for Software for Research Communities. This call is a huge success for us as a community. Now is even more important than ever than you put yourselves forwards to be in a position to review applications to this call. Please consider putting yourself forwards to the EPSRC Review college so that proposal’s can be reviewed by RSEs.

For your info – the ExCALIBUR Research Software Engineer Knowledge Integration Landscape Review

RSE Case Studies and Profiles

In our new case study series we have our very first new case study: Meet Al Tanner from ACRC RSE Bristol, and read about how he became an RSE, what he likes about it (and what not), and why he sees himself as a “professional ancillary para-support techno-ally”.

In this category we want to present Research Software Engineering case studies and Research Software Engineer profiles, in order to show all the shapes and forms that RSEs come in, and all the brilliant work they do. If you are willing to work with us on a case study about your work and/or your career, please contact us.


The 2021 sktime summer programme – Workshops, talks and tutorials for sktime community members and people interested in contributing – please reach out if you want to get involved or have any questions!  https://github.com/alan-turing-institute/sktime/issues/863. sktime is a unified framework for machine learning with time series https://github.com/alan-turing-institute/sktime

GPU Hackathons in Europe 2021

The programme is designed to help scientists, researchers and developers to accelerate and optimize their applications on GPUs. The hackathons are four day intensive hands-on events designed to help computational scientists port their applications to GPUs using libraries, OpenACC, CUDA and other tools by pairing participants with dedicated mentors experienced in GPU programming and development. 

Domain scientists are paired with experienced GPU mentors to learn the critical accelerated and parallel computing skills needed by the scientific community.

Today, more than 1800 domain experts from premier universities, research centres, and high performance computing centers around the world have been trained and over 400 scientific applications have been ported in part or completely to GPUs.

Throughout this year there will be multiple GPU Hackathons taking place in Europe. Don’t miss your chance to attend one these GPU Hackathons and work with experts to get the latest updates on programming models, best practices and tools for using and optimizing your codes on GPU.

Site Dates Submission Deadline
BSC Oct 25, Nov 2-4 Aug 14th
ENCCS Dec 7,14-16 Oct 6th

The full schedule is available at www.gpuhackathons.org/events


RSE Conference 2021 – SeptembRSE – Sign up to participate, submit talks, posters and more. Follow #septembrse for future updates and announcements, and to join in with the discussion with the RSE community.

The HPC Autumn Academy, hosted by the Centre for Scientific Computing at the University of Cambridge, will be online again this year, 6th-17th September 2021. Lectures will be given on C++, Fortran, Performance Programming, OpenMP, MPI, and various other topics suitable for Master’s/Ph.D. students, early-career researchers, and early-career industrial software developers who need High-Performance Computing skills as part of their course or work. If you know any students or colleagues who would benefit from this, please encourage them to book a place. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] .

IWOMP 2021 will be hosted by the High Performance Computing research group at the University of Bristol, UK. IWOMP is the annual workshop dedicated to the promotion and advancement of all aspects of parallel programming with OpenMP. It is the premier forum to present and discuss issues, trends, recent research ideas, and results related to parallel programming with OpenMP.

A free and open online course on reproducibility in data science provided by Harvard University, September 16, 2020 – September 15, 2021.

GridPP is being held at the beginning of September for all those folks in the UK interested in grid computing infrastructure for large-data physics projects.

As part of the (virtual) NFDI4Ing conference in Germany (research data infrastructure for the engineering sciences) on 27.-28. September, we plan to have a research software session with topics from best practices over git, test driven development, gitlab-ci up to github+zenodo for citations. We are looking for people that could, in any of these topics, offer short (5-15min) presentations on their experiences, may they be good, bad or ugly. Language can be German or English.
Please contact us (Frank Löffler, Dennis Gläser und Jan Linxweiler) at [email protected] if you are interested to contributee!


International RSE Day: The International Council of RSE Associations around the world are keen to celebrate RSEs and RSE work on an annually recognised ‘International RSE Day’ on October 14th 2021. The Council encourages events to be organised at the local level by those who would like to get involved.

The Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability 2021 (WoSSS21) will be held online from Wednesday 6th October to Friday 9th October 2021. Reports on the previous workshops are available here.

The Port Humanitarian Online Hackathon: 8.-10. October. Are you passionate about innovation and employing innovation driven ways to mitigate major humanitarian challenges? Do you like to work with creative minds? Do you want to develop new skills and meet new people? THE Port Humanitarian Hackathon is a 3 day event to tackle the unprecedented challenges for humanitarian actors and social innovators today and help construct a brighter future for humanity. Deadline for applications: 27th August.


SocRSE Trustee Mozhgan Kabiri Chimeh is chairing the Early Career Program (ECP) as part of the SC21 conference .

Are you an early-career researcher or technical professional within the first five years of a permanent position in navigating a successful career path? Check out the Early Career Program at SC21!  Please share this opportunity widely to interested individuals.

The Early Career program provides a one-day series of special sessions for early-career researchers, educators, and technical professionals. This includes academic, industry, and laboratory staff and post-docs within the first five years of a permanent position. The Early Career program is available to participants by application only. The program aims to help participants secure a better understanding of the issues and challenges faced while navigating a successful research career. The program will include engaging interactive sessions aimed at helping participants develop their professional skills, as well as a strategic vision for their future

Early Career sessions will be held in a virtual workshop format on Monday, November 15, 2021 (subject to change), before the full SC21 Program begins – this allows participants to enjoy as much of the Technical Program as possible. The participants have networking opportunities throughout the day. Applications close August 31, 2021, notifications sent September 30, 2021.

Another Call for Papers: PAW-ATM 2021: Parallel Applications Workshop, Alternatives To MPI+X. Held in conjunction with SC21, St. Louis, MO

RSE-HPC-2021 submission deadline is next Friday, August 6! We are excited to announce the Research Software Engineers in HPC Workshop (RSE-HPC-2021) to be held as part of SC21 (in St. Louis, MO and virtually). This will be a full-day workshop 9:00am-5:30pm CST, Monday, November 15, 2021.
This workshop will bring together RSEs and allies involved in HPC, from all over the world, to grow the RSE community by establishing and strengthening professional networks of current RSEs and RSE leaders.  We’ll discuss the current activities and plans of national RSE organizations, discuss the needs of RSEs and RSE groups, and write a report on ways RSE organizations can help address these.
We encourage prospective participants to submit position papers (limit of 2 pages, not counting references; no format prescribed) on topics related to RSE issues. Papers and discussion topics should be submitted using the submission website.
The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 6, 2021, at 11:59 PM AoE (UTC-12). For more information, see the workshop website or contact the organizers at [email protected].

PackagingCon 2021: We’re working hard on the organization of the first “packaging-con”. A conference for developers of software package management software, as well as software packagers and communities! Packaging Con is going to be a two-day virtual event with contributors from all over the planet. Our mission is to bring different eco-systems together: from Python’s pip to Rust’s cargo, from Debian apt over Nix to conda and mamba, and from vcpkg to Spack we hope to have many different approaches to package management at the conference. The PackagingCon conference will be virtual and will span two days, the 9th and 10th of November 2021. Tickets will be sold at a pay-what-you-want basis, with suggested prices.


Fancy being in Hawaii in January 2022? Papers wanted by HICSS 22.


New episodes of the RSE Stories podcast created and delivered by Vanessa Sochat in the US:

August is a perfect time to check out all the episodes that you’ve missed on the Code for Thought podcast created and delivered by Peter Schmidt, a Senior Research Software Developer from UCL. Peter is currently on summer break but Series 2 is already planned for the autumn and episodes are fast filling up. If you have a suggestion for a episode or would like to introduce somebody to Peter, contact Peter directly on the RSE Slackspace.

100 moments that rocked Computer Science

Open Science Stories – Open science concepts explained as stories in 10 minutes or less

Blog Posts

Daniel S. Katz: Introducing the Software Development Curve

Getting to know your 2021 RSE fellows: Heather Turner, Domhnall Carlin, Thomas Dowrick, Peter Hill


University of Sheffield Research Software Engineering Team Newsletter July 2021

US RSE July 2021 Newsletter

Imperial College Research Software Community Newsletter – July 2021

Community info

Reminding you about..

RSEs in the UK now have the opportunity to apply for the new Open Plus Fellowships that are funded by EPSRC. The Open refers to the fellowship being open to all who work in academia e.g. RSE and technicians while the Plus refers to being able to use some of your time for community activities. The RSE Fellowships will still continue but in time will migrate to these.

UKRI are building a new funding service that will eventually replace the existing Je-S system. If you have any experience of applying for funding, or are likely to apply for or assess funding in the future you can join the effort to help design the service in a way that will meet your needs. If you would like to input into the design of the new service please provide your details here

The DiversIT Charter is CEPIS’ flagship initiative aimed at reducing gender disparity in IT roles. It is a roadmap which moves through three levels of attainment: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has a focus on attraction and retention, asking applicants to showcase their initiatives and policies for increasing gender diversity in ICT professions.

A Resources database has been set up on the Society website which will hold the links to all the static useful items that have featured here under Community info. Help us to fill the resources database by submitting an item to the database.

Better Scientific Software – a blog with relevant articles.

RSE Worldwide

Awareness of the RSE role and the RSE community is growing around the world with new national groups being created all the time. In this section, we introduce these groups and raise awareness of their success. The Society supports new groups and collaborates with representatives from them on various initiatives (papers, international workshops).

In January 2021, the International Council of RSE Associations was founded as a forum to communicate and formally meet to ensure cohesion between associations and to provide a platform for open discussion around international issues and affairs.

(In alphabetical order)


Belgium Research Software Engineers Community

Join the (informal) chats of the Belgium Research Software Engineers community on https://gitter.im/be-rse/


Check out upcoming events!

Some great keynotes confirmed for the Canadian Research Software Conference https://www.canarie.ca/event/crsc-2021/#speakers


Dates for the joined monthly calls of the Open Science und Research Software Engineering communities can be found here.

Save the date! Research Software Engineering track by de-RSE at SE2022 software engineering conference by German Informatics Society, 23rd-25th February 2022. There might be workshops at 21st and 22nd. If you have ideas for a workshop, let @StephanJanosch know. Fully virtual at no costs. More details to come.


New meet-ups are scheduled for NL RSE. Interested in proposing a workshop, talk, or some other contribution? Get in touch!

Nordic RSE

Research Software Hour…Hosted by members of the Nordic-RSE community, this continues weekly on Twitch. Research Software Hour is an online stream/show about scientific computing and research software. It is designed to provide the skills typically picked up via informal networks; each week, they do some combination of exploring new tools, analyzing and improving someone’s research code, and discussion. Watchers can take part and contribute code to us which they analyze and discuss on stream. They broadcast on Twitch Thursdays at 20:30 Oslo time / 21:30 Helsinki time.


Upcoming and recurring events can be found on the events website!

The latest (July) US-RSE newsletter is available.

Collect your gold star here if you’ve read all the way to the end!

About the author: mweinzierl