RSE Toolkit: The Research Software Engineer’s Toolkit

The RSE Toolkit (RTK) is intended to be a community developed resource for Research Software Engineers (RSEs), researchers, academics and anyone involved in building research software. If you’re a user of research software, or you’re new to the field, you may also find a range of useful information on this site and its associated GitHub repository.

Why RTK?

This started out as an idea quite some time ago - indeed the (until recently empty) GitHub repository was created a while back with a view to developing this resource! The RSE community in the UK and beyond has been developing rapidly with groups and communities being started and growing at quite a pace as the interest in research software engineering continues to increase. This resource is intended to support this growth and provide a place where community members can link to their own materials or collaboratively develop new materials.

There is a wealth of information out there but with so much information, it can sometimes be difficult to find what we’re looking for, or more generally, to find a summary of the things it is useful to know or be aware of as an RSE.

The initial set of resource areas for RTK is likely to change, and hopefully grow, over time. Some areas may expand, others may become less significant and some may disappear as new areas are added.

It’s taken some time to get round to working on this but it’s hoped that this initial bootstrapping phase and the initial set of information provided here, will lead to RTK gaining contributions and developing as a community resource.

RTK Resources

The core set of resources that RTK is aiming to develop initially is:

  • Tech Hub: A place to find details of the most important technical skills that RSEs can learn, why they’re important and where to learn them! The Tech Hub will also include overviews of key technical areas such as testing, CI, CD, etc.

  • Training Hub: A place to find a summary of the different things that it’s important to know as an RSE, categorised by specific RSE role and career aims, as well as a comprehensive directory of RSE training resources.

  • Research Hub: Information on RSE-related research resources, how to get research credit for your RSE work if you’re a research-focused RSE and advice and links to resources to help develop your research profile as an RSE.

  • rtk: A Python command line tool with pluggable modules for undertaking common RSE tasks - develop and contribute your own modules or help to extend existing code.

The RTK resources will be available through the GitHub pages site for RTK and can be accessed at

Code of Conduct

We value and encourage contributions to this resource. To ensure that everyone feels welcome and able to suggest new material they’d like to see, contribute new content or engage in discussion about the RSE Toolkit’s content, it is important that you are aware of and adhere to our Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct applies to any interactions that you have in relation to the RSE Toolkit, either via GitHub, our Slack channel (#rsetoolkit on UK RSE Slack) or any other such means.


Contributions to RTK are welcome. See our contributing guidelines for full details of how you can contribute.