Help get the word out on RSE and Best Practice in R

A longer term solution to getting access to RSE skills where they don’t yet exist is to campaign for them! I can help with most forms of advocacy, from motivating talks to help with writing white papers or proposals.

What I offer

  • Motivational talks, seminars, interviews or panel appearances on the topics of:
    • The importance of RSE in academia.
    • Reproducible Research (especially in R).
    • Experiences working as an independent but academia adjacent RSE consultant.
  • Contributing blogpost on similar topics.
  • Help with writing RSE work into grants.
  • Proposals or whitepapers promoting the concept of RSE.

Why bother?

Recognition of the importance of Research Software Engineering is slowly but surely spreading beyond the UK with many other countries promoting the role in academia. See this 2019 European Union Case Study by the Open Science Monitor on Recognising the Importance of Software in Research – Research Software Engineers (RSEs), a UK Example. Similar conclusions (among others) were drawn in the UK public sector in the extremely thorough Goldacre Review into how the efficient and safe use of health data for research and analysis can benefit patients and the healthcare sector. While top down action is important, bottom up demand for RSE support is an equally important part of the puzzle. The EU Open Science Monitor Case study report states that:

The advocacy campaign through which the group engaged higher education media outlets, such as speaking at conferences and the creation of regular blog posts and news articles, also helped to raise the awareness of the role of RSEs and the need to support them

Why me?

Despite leaving my beloved Sheffield RSE group, I’m still very passionate about the work we did and have a lot of experience advocating for it’s importance. I’ve given many talks on topics relating to Research Software Engineering in academia and Reproducible Research, co-organised symposia, participated on panels, written blog posts and appeared on relevant podcasts. Overall, I’m just as keen on spreading the word as you are on securing access to RSE services so let’s join forces!

Below are some examples of relevant advocacy work to give a flavour of my philosophy and approach.


Computational Reproducibility, from Theory to Practice

useR!2020 Keynote

Drawing on experiences as a Research Software Engineer, an editor and reviewer of R packages for rOpenSci and a founding member of the ReproHack reproducibility hackathon team, I take a look at the progress we’ve made so far, try to identify what we’re still missing and offer some thoughts on how to move forward.

What Can RSEs Do For U?

2019 BES Quantitative & Movement Ecology SIG Annual Meeting

Invited talk at the BES Quantitative & Movement Ecology 2019 Annual Meeting to speak about what Research Software Engineers do and how they can support academics with their computational research.

Putting the R into Reproducible Research

RSE Lunchbytes Seminar Series


R and its ecosystem of packages offers a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques and is increasing in popularity as the tool of choice for data analysis in academia.

In addition to its powerful analytical features, the R ecosystem provides a large number of tools and conventions to help support more open, robust and reproducible research. This includes tools for managing research projects, building robust analysis workflows, documenting data and code, testing code and disseminating and sharing analyses.

In this talk we’ll take a whistle-stop tour of the breadth of available tools, demonstrating the ways R and the Rstudio integrated development environment can be used to underpin more open reproducible research and facilitate best practice

In the media


RSE Stories

R for Reproducibility

Code for Thought

It's All About Reproducibility


Challenge to scientists: does your ten-year-old code still run?

Nature: Technology Feature

I was interviewed, among many others, as part of a piece on the Ten Year Reproducibility challenge. We discussed challenges to scientific code reproducibility with a particular focus on lessons learnt through ReproHacks.

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'Evidence not arrogance': UK supporters join global March for Science

The Guardian

Although not a full interview, I did manage to get quoted in this Guardian article on the global March for Science I attended in London in 2017.

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Mozilla Story Engine

Interview for the Mozilla Network50 initiave

I gave this interview as part of being recoginsed in the first Mozilla Network50 cohort of 50 People Who Made the Internet a Better Place in 2016

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