Round table discussion of forming Australia Chapter of Research Software Engineers Association at 2017 eRA

Facilitators: Manodeep Sinha1, Steven Manos2, Michelle Barker3

1Swinburne University

2Melbourne University



Thursday 19 October, lunchtime 12:50-14:00, Room P7)


Inspired by the success of the Research Software Engineers (RSE) Association in UK, we are planning to start an Australian Chapter of the RSE Association. Together with international bodies and support from our national organisations such as ANDS, Nectar and RDS, we aim to campaign for the recognition and adoption of the RSE role within academia, alongside the need for appropriate reward and career opportunities for RSEs. We plan to organise regular events to allow RSEs to meet, exchange knowledge and collaborate.

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

To continue the conversation and shape the direction of the Australian RSE community, we will have a round table discussion at the eResearch conference on Thursday 19 October (lunchtime 12:50-14:00, Room P7) and are seeking your input (especially if you consider yourself an RSE). Please join us on this event to discuss how this community can work for you and how you can be involved. Together, we can build a sustainable community that benefits research software engineers, and ultimately contributes to more efficient and reproducible research.

If you are not attending the eRA conference, you can support this community by expressing your interest through this survey or contacting Manodeep Sinha ( for more information.

The content will also be available at this url:

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