A laptop half open with surrounding text describing the Society of RSE newsletter.

Newsletter – January 2022

Welcome to the January 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

The EqualityDiversityInclusivity (EDI), and Accessibility (EDIA) team is working on EDIA strategy and landscape review (waiting for your survey results for this to be fed in… Please fill in our Community Survey!). In preparation for working with the RSECon2022 EDI lead, we have refactored our conference EDI guidelines and added checklists. In the last trustee meeting, we proposed a Public Engagement and Outreach working group, which was supported by the trustee board, so we are writing the terms of references for that and will hopefully soon ask our community to join our efforts. Also, we are very happy that we got another case study up through the Role Diversity working group!


We’re delighted to announce that RSECon2022 will be at Newcastle University with Mark Turner as our Programme Chair. Mark is Head of Research Software Engineering at Newcastle University and has been heavily involved in the community for a number of years now, serving as a trustee on the society trustee board not long ago. The trustees are really pleased to have him on board as Programme Chair for RSECon2022 and know that the conference is in very safe hands. The conference will take place in the week commencing the 5th September 2022 and we will be able to confirm exactly which days of that week soon, but for now if you’re planning on attending the conference, please save that week in your calendar! 

As always, a lot of work still needs to be done. We are giving thought to how we can diversify the trustee board – especially as we look for a 12th trustee to join our friendly team. If you have any questions or feedback about EDIA related issues, please do contact our team at: [email protected].


The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop 2022 (CW22) will take place online from Monday 4 April – Thursday 7 April 2022 and registration is open! The call for submissions for mini-workshop and demo sessions is open until 4 February (submission form here).To find out more information, see the provisional agenda, and view the call for submissions, please visit the CW22 website or contact CW22 Chair Rachael Ainsworth with any questions.

Complete the international RSE survey and help us understand the RSE community! The Software Sustainability Institute released the 2021 RSE survey in collaboration with the Society and the other national RSE associations. Keeping up with the phenomenal growth of the Research Software Engineer (RSE) community is far from easy, so they run a survey every two to three years across all the national RSE associations and publish the results as an open, anonymised dataset. The survey provides insight into the community and how best to support it, so it is of incredible value to RSEs, policymakers and funders. You can complete the survey in EnglishFrenchGerman or Spanish.

The Call for Participation for the UKRI Cloud Workshop is now open for the next workshop on March 29th 2022, which is planned to be an in-person event with the option for live streaming online attendance. Unfortunately, they are not able to accommodate virtual speakers for this event. As with previous events, they are looking forward to a varied programme from the UK research community covering all aspects of research computing using cloud (both public and private) and expect a mix of technical talks, with researchers reporting on their use of cloud technologies. They aim to have a diverse set of viewpoints represented at this workshop and encourage individuals and institutions of all backgrounds (for example academic, technical, business, or user experience) to apply. Call for Participation
The six proposed workshop themes are; 1) HPC, 2) Cloud Pilots & User Experiences, 3) Hybrid Cloud, 4) UKRI & Trusted Environments, 5) COVID & Cloud and 6) Performance/ResOps, although submissions outside of these areas are also welcome. Talk sessions are typically 20 minutes and should include time for questions.

Lorentz Centre workshop on diversity, equity and inclusion – call for participation
Would you like to join a conversation on how research software engineering could be reframed to place diversity, equity, and inclusion as a central organising principle? ReSA is calling for expressions of interest in joining a workshop entitled “Vive la differénce – research software engineers”. This will be a hybrid event with an in-person element from 19-22 April 2022 at the Lorentz Centre in the Netherlands; and online events from March-May 2022 across different time zones. This workshop will bring together a wide range of stakeholders who have not previously collaborated, to analyse best practice and available data to identify both research opportunities and solutions to their own local challenges, to create an informal network of champions in this area.
There are two ways to become involved: Apply to participate in the workshop, which has a maximum of 55 participants. Participants can attend remotely or in-person.

EPSRC – High-risk speculative engineering and ICT research: New Horizons
EPSRC has launched a second phase of the pilot New Horizons scheme, focused on highly speculative research projects across the remit of EPSRC’s engineering and information and communication technologies (ICT) themes.

rSE22 – Call for Contributions – Software Engineering 2022 – February 23rd-25th 2022
In June 2019, research software developers from all over Germany met for the first time for a central conference at deRSE19 in Potsdam. Ideas and plans for follow-up conferences in 2020 and 2021 were unfortunately thwarted by the pandemic. Therefore, de-RSE e.V. is now joining forces with colleagues from software engineering and organising a separate track on research software for SE 2022 of the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) in February 2022.

The organising committee is looking forward to submissions for workshops, talks and posters, as well as for splinter meetings and informal “Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF)” discussion meetings. The aim of the conference is to map the diverse community of research software engineers through participation of all levels of experience across disciplines, locations, genders and origins.

Major funding boost for UK’s open research agenda: A consortium of 18 universities – members of the UK Reproducibility Network – has received significant funding to drive uptake of open research practices across the sector, furthering the UK’s position at the forefront of rigorous and reproducible research.

Case Studies and Example RSE Profiles

Meet Andy Janco: https://society-rse.org/careers/case-studies/Andy-Janco/

We want to show all the shapes and forms that RSEs come in, and all the brilliant work they do and are looking for RSEs willing to work with us to put together case studies. We will send you a set of questions to answer (either career-focused or EDI focused, your choice), and are very happy to have a chat if you are unsure about something or need help writing up your answers. Email [email protected] if you are interested or have any questions.



Open Code and Software – Train-the-Trainer Course

February 10 @ 9am – 5pm, online

Researchers and research support staff: Do you have experience with sharing your research code or software as part of your research workflow?

The UK Reproducibility Network, in partnership with the Medical Research Council, are offering FREE training to researchers/staff who are keen to train their colleagues in how to share their research code and software. (signup here). Attendance is free, but limited. If you have questions, please email jackie.thompson (at) bristol.ac.uk and emma.wilson (at) ed.ac.uk!

N8 CIR – On 2 February we’re hosting an online event at Lancaster University to help grow our #MachineLearning Community. If you want to use Machine Learning in your research, or share your experience, then you can register and contribute at: https://n8cir.org.uk/events/ml-lan/

rSE22 – Call for Contributions – Software Engineering 2022 – February 23rd-25th 2022
In June 2019, research software developers from all over Germany met for the first time for a central conference at deRSE19 in Potsdam. Ideas and plans for follow-up conferences in 2020 and 2021 were unfortunately thwarted by the pandemic. Therefore, de-RSE e.V. is now joining forces with colleagues from software engineering and organising a separate track on research software for SE 2022 of the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) in February 2022.


Save the date! Collaborations Workshop 2022 (CW22). The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop series brings together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, policy makers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. Collaborations Workshop 2022 (CW22) will take place online from Monday, 4 April to Thursday, 7 April 2022. The themes of the workshop are Code Review, Ethics, Hybrid Working, and Software Sustainability. Sign up via the link above to receive updates.


  • Code for Thought is back with Season 3. In the new episode I am talking to 7 of the new EPSRC fellows. Listen and join the fellowship on https://tinyurl.com/3pcefcj8 . Oh and by the way: Code for Thought is 1 year old.

  • The first episode of Research Software Engineer Stories is out!
    https://twitter.com/vsoch/status/1479127158291271680. In this episode we talk with Chase Million, the CEO of Million Concepts, about doing research and having impact outside of academia. And yes, that’s right! Research software engineering doesn’t have to happen from a traditional academic path. This is an important story because it shows a less represented portion of our community.

Blog Posts

Bristol RSEs report on: Research Software Engineering to reduce the environmental impact of a long-running script

Community info

Schmidt Futures – have funded, amongst others, Cambridge University RSEs and researchers. Read all about it on the SSI’s site: https://www.software.ac.uk/news/ssi-fellow-dominic-orchard-co-direct-new-institute-computing-climate-science

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.


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.


Their December 2021 newsletter is out!

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

About the author: Ian Cottam