Growing institutional support for RSEs across the UK

Posted by s.hettrick on 12 July 2019 - 9:43am
RSE conference group photo
Photo courtesy of Simon Hettrick

By Louise Chisholm, Jeremy Cohen, Jonathan Cooper, and Simon Hettrick.

Most people who are looking to forge a career in research software engineering will come across barriers that are the result of outdated university policies put in place before software was such a critical element of research. Although most universities now recognise the importance of research software, there are a few that have embraced the RSE role and they are setting the standard for supporting research software engineering. During a panel at the 2019 RSE Conference, leading senior figures from these universities will share their experiences and their reasons for supporting RSEs - and anyone can submit a question!

The growth of research software engineering has relied on a rapid increase in awareness of the value of research software and the associated opportunities it provides to advance research. But any change in academia requires buy-in from senior management - and software has not traditionally been a key priority. The goal of the panel discussion is to encourage more universities to recognise research software engineering as a vital role in academia.

The RSE Conference will unite more than 400 RSEs and other researchers at the University of Birmingham for a packed programme of talks, workshops, tutorials and the opportunity to meet and network. The panel will bring together representatives from senior university management, HR and leading figures in the RSE community. It will take place on Wednesday 18th September at 13:30. The panel is being organised by Louise Chisholm, Jeremy Cohen, Jonathan Cooper, and Simon Hettrick on behalf of the Science and Engineering South Consortium.

We want YOU to ask the questions! What can these senior representatives, and their counterparts at other institutions, do to help RSE careers? What would you like to hear from them about the future of RSE? Start posing your questions NOW on

In the run up to the session, we'll be collating questions into themes and selecting a representative set of questions for the panel. You're welcome to add questions to anonymously but if your question is selected, we hope you'll be present at the panel to ask the question yourself. If you're willing to do this, please sign in to to ensure that your question is attributed to you.

We hope you'll be able to join us on the 18th September at RSEConUK for what promises to be an interesting and important panel that could set the course for many more universities supporting research software engineering.

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