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Research Software Engineers (RSE) - Australian Chapter

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Inspired by the success of the UK Research Software Engineer (RSE) Association, we have started an Australian Chapter of the RSE Association, together with international bodies and support from national organisations including ANDS, Nectar and RDS.

The aim of the RSE Association is to campaign for the recognition and adoption of the RSE role within academia, alongside the need for appropriate reward and career opportunities for RSEs. This will include regular events to allow RSEs to meet, exchange knowledge and collaborate.

About RSEs

The term RSE, originally coined by the UK RSE Association, says the following about RSEs:

"A growing number of people in academia combine expertise in programming with an intricate understanding of research. Although this combination of skills is extremely valuable, these people lack a formal place in the academic system. This means there is no easy way to recognise their contribution, to reward them, or to represent their views. Without a name, it is difficult for people to rally around a cause, so we created the term Research Software Engineer. We are now working to raise awareness of the role and bring the community together."

An initial Expression of Interest survey among Australian and New Zealand researchers found that a majority of the respondents considered increased recognition of the RSE role and collaborative events amongst RSEs as the highest priorities.

Activities

  • We discussed the formation of Australian Chapter of RSE at the eResearch Australasia 2017 conference in Brisbane.
  • We had first Interim Steering Committee meeting on 23 March 2018. We hope that within the first 6 to 12 months that we would have a community with a transparently elected Steering Committee. Notes from Steering Committee meetings and all open issues are available from our chapter’s git repo.
  • We are organising a state by state meetup to bring awareness of the role of RSE, bring community together, and get feedback from community for planning future activities.

If you would like to know more, you can check out some of the links below or contact Manodeep Sinha (msinha@swin.edu.au), Rowland Mosbergen (rowland.mosbergen@nectar.org.au), or Mingfang Wu (mingfang.wu@ands.org.au).

Additional resources