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Call for proposals

Are you interested in research software and computational science? Do you prioritize the sustainability and reproducibility of research outputs? Do you build software to support research? Do you work as part of a team alongside people who build research software? Maybe you already have an official role as a Research Software Engineer (RSE) within your organisation or perhaps you are a researcher or academic? 

Whatever your interest or involvement in the world of research software, the 1st Nordic RSE Conference, which takes place on the 1st-2nd December 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden has something to offer you. Why not consider submitting an abstract for a presentation, poster or mini-workshop session to Nordic-RSE 2020?

In common with the many regional and national research software engineering workshops and conferences that have started to take place in recent years, Nordic RSE will be different to regular academic conferences. 

We are a friendly, diverse and welcoming community of technical and research professionals and the conference will provide attendees with a great opportunity to meet and network with peers, learn new skills and participate in a range of seminar and discussion sessions. Whether you’re a regular conference attendee or have never been to a conference before, Nordic-RSE 2020 has something to offer you.

COVID-19 statement

The organisers hope to be able to proceed with running the Nordic-RSE conference, as planned, in Stockholm on December 1-2. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we are aware that this relies on there being a continuing improvement in the situation over the coming months. It is also likely that social distancing measures will have some effect on our plans for the conference and full details will be advised nearer to the conference. We encourage you to go ahead with making a submission to the conference but urge you not to make any travel bookings that are non-refundable at this stage (COVID-19 decision timeline).

Proposal types

This is the first Nordic-RSE meeting, so we especially welcome a variety of event types which promote engagement and community building, and are target to people who don't already identify as RSEs.

Please don't feel limited to classic lectures - we will consider any kind of event, such as discussions, networking sessions, hackathons, workshops, art exhibits, games, contests, etc. Our primary categories to fill, though, are plenary, talk/workshop, lightning talk, poster or exhibit. Plenaries are 30-45 minutes, regular talks are 20 minutes, workshops sessions are up to 1.5 hours in a session (but could span multiple sessions). See the tentative schedule for how you might fit in.

  • Lightning talk: Lightning talks are presentations that are limited to a maximum of 5 minutes and no more than 5 slides including any title slide. They provide a great opportunity to give a high-level overview of a project, a piece of technical work or to highlight a tool or process that you feel will be of interest to the community.

  • Regular talk: Regular talks are 20 minute talks followed by 5 minutes for questions. A regular talk provides the opportunity to go into more detail in presenting your work, a technical idea or an example of using a software tool or library. There is also the opportunity to get feedback through questions from the audience.

  • Poster/ exhibit/ media display: Posters will be on display around the venue for the duration of the conference and attendees will have the opportunity to look at them during coffee and lunch breaks. Every poster presenter will also be invited to give a 3-minute lightning talk to offer an overview of the topic and content of their poster. You are welcome to submit an "exhibit" or media display and go beyond the traditional poster format: this can be to show a demo on a TV screen or a laptop.

  • Mini-workshop: There will be space in the workshop schedule for a small number of mini-workshops. These sessions will be assigned a 90-minute slot and will take place in breakout groups of 15 to 30 participants. The individual or team running a mini-workshop will have the opportunity to structure the 90-minute slot as they wish, including, for example, a combination of short talks and discussion, panel discussions, tutorials, etc.

  • Repro-hacks: Propose a research paper and try to reproduce the results. There is no better way to learn what is needed for reproducible research, and what you might be missing, than to pick a paper and try to recreate it. At the workshop we will work in small groups on individual publications and see how far we get.

Our venue is the KTH Student Union (more details about the venue), and will have lots of places for informal discussions or close interactions. But not too close, since COVID-19 isn't going away.

We aim for recording and streaming, but the process is not yet decided and this is not required if you don't feel comfortable or it isn't suitable. However, we are still aiming for an in-person event, since online can't serve the same purpose of building a new community (but would be glad to have hybrid online/in person events proposed).


  • Abstract submission deadline: Tuesday 15th September 2020
  • Decisions sent to abstract authors: Thursday 15th October 2020
  • Conference: 1st-2nd December 2020

Here you can browse the full timeline.

Abstract submission and review

By submitting an abstract to the workshop you'll have the opportunity to get constructive feedback on your submission from up to three experienced program committee members who are all RSEs or academics/researchers.

Submissions should consist of ~150 word abstract for shorter talks, and ~250 words for longer talks.

The deadline for abstract submissions is Tuesday 15th September 2020.

Abstract/proposal author details will be removed and each abstract will be assigned a unique ID before being passed to reviewers. You are advised to try and remove identifying information from your abstract, where practical, to help ensure, as far as possible, the anonymity of the review process.

The planned date for returning acceptance decisions and reviews to authors is: Thursday 15th October.


We don't have pre-determined tracks, but we propose that the following themes would be interesting to attendees. Also, consider the types of attendees we expect on the front page.

  • Research software case studies - challenges, successes and lessons learned
  • "Meta-research" on research software
  • Best practices in developing research software
  • Tools and training for computational researchers and RSEs (stuff that people should learn, it doesn't have to be solely directed at people who consider themselves RSEs)
  • How to run a RSE group, how to hire RSEs
  • Research software communities in the Nordic region
  • RSE career tracks in the Nordics
  • Information to funders and administrators to support RSE programs
  • Community impact and engagement
  • Developing and delivering technical training materials
  • Infrastructure
  • Deploying and managing continuous integration/deployment (CI/CD) environments

We don't plan for satellites, but if you know someone who can reserve space in Stockholm, we can try to coordinate.

Examples / requested talks

We would be happy to see a variety of events of these types:

  • Intro to a new tool (20 min)
  • Workshop going into depth about a tool (1.5 hour)
  • Strategies for working work closely with researchers