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Research Software Engineering 

How we can help

The Research Software Engineers (RSEs) in Durham University’s Advanced Research Computing (ARC) unit are here to support researchers with the computational aspects of their work. This includes:

  • Software Development
  • Software Sustainability
  • Software Testing
  • High Performance Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Digital Humanities

RSEs also provide training and consultancy in these aspects, co-supervise PhD students and master students in final year projects and help to develop proofs of concept and grant applications.

Our RSEs at ARC come from a variety of backgrounds, giving us a broad range of experience across both academia and industry. We offer support for your research software, whether you need us to do a large amount of complex programming, or whether you just need advice on data visualisation, source code control, or software reproducibility. 

ARC holds a drop-in Methods Café in association with DRMC every Wednesday for ad hoc advice.

As Research Software Engineers we are members of the Society of Research Software Engineers, which strives for recognition of the vital role of software in research. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, please contact us via

How can RSEs be involved in a project?

When you contact ARC we may spend up to a day or two working either with you or separately to ensure we fully understand the requirements of the project.

There are different ways in which an RSE can contribute to a project:

For small pieces of work, up to 5 full working days of RSE support may be offered at no cost depending on the project and provided no other funding is available. Where funding is available, time may be charged for.

For larger projects:

  • RSEs can spend up to 5 days initially to gather requirements and work out the scope of the work, at no cost.
  • After this stage, RSEs can contribute up to a maximum of 0.4 FTE to a project on a costed-in basis.
  • When an RSE is to be costed into a project, it is highly recommended that they are involved in the development of the grant application as early as possible. It is seen as a benefit by funders that the RSE is a Co-I or named researcher (depending on the scope of their contribution) on the project.
  • It is also possible to involve an RSE in a project that is already running if funding is available.
  • The cost of RSE time is approximately the same as an experienced PDRA. In both cases, RIS will help with the costings.
RSEs supporting a project will normally be acknowledged academically by being made co-authors on papers emerging from the project.

How do I request RSE support?

To receive support, please fill out this form. We can help with the application as required. Each application is reviewed by ARC on its merits to ensure that we both have the right expertise to apply to the task and that we have the capacity to do the work.

At the end of the agreed project time, we ask you to complete a short form regarding the benefit of the RSE support received, and the next steps for the development.