Trustee Nominations and Elections 2024

We would like to announce that the sixth round of Society Trustee elections will take place in September 2024. Every year, a number of the current trustees stand down, and a new batch of trustees are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will take place at RSECon24 in Newcastle.

The Society is calling on members of the RSE Community to step forward and help us shape the future of the Society and the RSE movement. If you are interested in joining us, please read the following information below and consider nominating yourself.

UPDATE: Five of our colleagues have/will be stepping down in September, so we will be looking to recruit five trustees to join the board this year.

UPDATE 2: We have compiled some FAQs on being a trustee and the election process in this blog post.

Candidate Nominations

You can nominate yourself by filling in the form linked below.

Nominations are open from Tuesday 18th June 2024 until 23:59 (BST) on Friday 12th July 2024.

What do trustees do?

The Board of Trustees are responsible for managing the Society. We help promote Research Software Engineering, both in the UK and on the global stage, and shape the Society to reflect the needs of our members.

As a trustee, you will help drive our various activities for the benefit of our members, including:

  • Managing our membership,
  • The annual RSE conference & other events,
  • Society finances,
  • Various EDIA initiatives,
  • Web and infrastructure projects,
  • Our communications and publicity,
  • … and more.

Once elected, the Trustees decide amongst themselves who will take responsibility for each activity, ensuring that the workload and responsibility of managing the Society is divided fairly. Generally, each Trustee is expected to take on one leadership role and one supporting role, giving you the opportunity to contribute to multiple subteams/working groups.

A full list of Trustee roles and working groups can be found on our governance page, with details of each role on the role descriptions page.

What is required to be a trustee?

Trustees are expected to make a time commitment of approximately two days per month. This time is either volunteered by the trustee or paid for by their employer (please discuss this with your employer before applying). Trustee meetings are held online – the board meets once per month for two hours, plus there are additional meetings for subteams/working groups. These meetings generally take place during working hours, but can be arranged around any other commitments you may have. You will then need to spend some time between meetings working towards various Society projects and activities, which will vary depending on your responsibilities but are usually managed via GitHub issues.

Previous experience is not required. There is an extensive onboarding process, which includes EDIA training and introductions to our tools and practices. Only one-third of the trustees step down each year, so new trustees will be able to rely on the experience and support of the established board members.

Trustees have a legal responsibility to run the charity and to plan and oversee its activities for the public benefit, in line with its aims and constitution. This is described in this Charity Commission guidance (see section 2 for a summary) and is to ensure that the Society’s money, people, and name go towards supporting its goal of advancing education and promoting advanced research.

The most important thing we are looking for is enthusiasm and commitment to work with the community to further the aims of the Society. We welcome everyone, regardless of how long they have been part of the RSE Community, and we endeavour to make the Society as diverse as possible. In return for your commitment and contributions, you will have many opportunities to develop your skills, meet new people, raise your profile within the community and make a real difference to research and to society.

How do I stand for election?

You must be a member of the Society before you nominate yourself for election. If you’re not yet a member, see our membership page for details on how to join.

When you apply, we ask you to comment on:

  • Why do you want to be a trustee of the Society?
  • What skills and experience can you bring to the role that would be useful to the Society?
  • What do you hope to get out of being a trustee?

You will also be asked to supply the email addresses of two other Society members who support your nomination (please get their permission first). Please note: we must be able to get a response from your seconders before voting opens on 29th July 2024.

The Election Process

Once the nominations close, the candidates’ statements will be presented to the community, who will then vote.

If there are the same number (or fewer) candidates than trustee positions available (five this year), then Society members will vote to approve all of the nominees at the AGM. If there are more candidates than open positions, then there will be an online competitive election before the AGM, and the nominees with the most votes will be selected.

After nominations close, information about candidates will be published on our website. All Society members will be eligible to vote (either online before the AGM or in person/online on the day of the AGM).

Q&A Sessions

Two online sessions are currently planned, during which Society members can learn more about the application process and ask questions of existing and previous board members about what it is like to be a trustee.

  • The first session will take place at 13:00 (BST) on Wednesday 26th June 2024 (sign up here).
  • A second session will take place at 16:00 (BST) on Friday 5th July 2024 (sign up here).

Additional sessions may be organised and/or a list of frequently asked questions may be published at a later date. Please join us on Slack, sign up for the newsletter or follow us on various social media platforms to be informed about other announcements and Q&A events.

The Elections Working Group for 2024 is: Mike Simpson (chair), David Beavan, Evelina Gabasova, and Twin Karmakharm.

About the author: Mike Simpson