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Research Software Engineering


We create and maintain computational methods and outputs and their required infrastructure to contribute to and expand the excellence in research and teaching of the Centre

Research Software Engineers are increasingly being recognised as critical agents to make research innovative, reproducible, open, and reliable.

At CIM, we are a small, but active and growing team with a diverse range of skill sets and a critical understanding of computation and digital artefacts (software, datasets, infrastructure…) as methods.

Being embedded in a research centre ensures close and constant dialogue with researchers, while liaising with central services enables us to come up with the best possible solutions for our requirements.

“The near-ubiquity of software [in research] means that it is not possible to disentangle the quality of the software from the quality of the research. Unreliable and untested software leads to unreliable results that cannot be trusted. The development of a clear strategy for software with support for high-quality software development and strong policies to support best practice is a critical part of the future landscape”

UKRI: The UK’s research and innovation infrastructure: opportunities to grow our capabilityLink opens in a new window (p. 125)

“Better software, better research”

Carole Goble, 2014 (Software Sustainability Institute)

What we do


We are central to the unique pedagogical model of the Centre, by contributing in the following areas:

  • We provide technical training and teaching in our degrees, in several formats, including delivering labs, workshops, and office hours.
  • We are involved in the co-creation of the curriculum with PGT module conveners.
  • We provide bespoke support for PGRs in the design and implementation of their research projects.

The Institutional Teaching and Learning Review (2023) recognised RSE's contribution being central to the pedagogical model of the centre


  • We contribute to designing, shaping and developing

    non-traditional research/transference/innovation outputs such as research software, datasets, or methods papers.

  • We make research open and reproducible by implementing best practices and adhering to open licenses and practices.
  • We enable research by creating and maintaining infrastructure, software and by curating datasets.

Impact & engagement

Use Cases

These are a selection of research software, training materials and datasets developed by current and former CIM staff. You can check the RSE blog for a complete list of use cases and more.


Whatnots shares some, but not all, R code and data files used in our MASC Data Visualisation teaching


A tiny tool to convert zeeschuimer ndjson files into csv format.


Records the commands and visualisations created in an R session for parsing and visualising the user workflow.


Visual diagnostics for Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC)

How can we help you?

We support the wide CIM community (staff, PGR, students...), in a number of areas. Check what RSE can do for you:

Research Software Engineers (RSEs) can support academics throughout various stages of their research projects, for example:

Grant Application Preparation:

RSEs can offer assistance and consultancy during the grant application process by:

  • Identifying Technical Needs: Understanding and articulating the technical requirements essential for successful project implementation.
  • Budgeting: Collaborating with researchers to develop accurate and comprehensive budgets for technical aspects.
  • Identifying and Developing Methods: Offering expertise in designing and refining methodologies tailored to the research objectives.
  • Data Management Plan: Assisting in the formulation of effective data management plans to ensure organized and accessible research data.

RSEs can also be part of the research team as Co-Investigators and Named Researchers to enhance the technical capabilities of the research team.

During the research project:

RSEs actively participate in the execution of the research project by:

  • Software Development: Engaging in the development of software, either independently or as part of a collaborative team, leading to the creation of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for the produced software.
  • Project Management: Overseeing and coordinating the software development process to ensure timely and successful project completion.
  • Dataset Preparation and Maintenance: Creating and maintaining datasets with corresponding DOIs and contributing to data papers for effective data dissemination.
  • Infrastructure Maintenance: Ensuring the continued functionality and efficiency of project-related infrastructure.
  • Academic Writing: Collaborating or leading on the writing of scientific papers, software papers, and data papers to document and share research outcomes.
  • Dissemination and Impact: Participating in workshops, datathons, hackathons, and other events to promote research, facilitate learning, build a community, and maximize impact.

After the end of the project:

The lifespan of research projects usually extends way after the funding is over. RSEs continue to play a crucial role post-funding:

  • Dissemination: Conducting workshops and arranging talks to share insights and outcomes from the research project.
  • Software Maintenance: Regularly maintaining, fixing or developing new features for the resulting software.
  • Infrastructure Maintenance: Ensuring the ongoing maintenance and optimization of project-related infrastructure to support sustained research activities.

Meet the team

Dr. Carlos Cámara-Menoyo

Senior Research Software Engineer

Domain expertise: Urban Studies, Commons, Co-production, Spatial Justice, (Digital) Geography

Technical preferences: Documentation, Websites, Data Visualisation, R, Reproducible workflows, Open Science

Dr. Iain Emsley

Research Software Engineer

Domain expertise: Critical Computation, Sonification, Digital Humanities, Digital Methods, Research Software

Technical preferences:

Former RSEs at CIM: Dr. James Tripp