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RSE International Survey

The Research Software Engineering (RSE) International Survey is a survey conducted by the UK Software Sustainability Institute since 2016 and now comprises 8 countries and covers all aspects of the practice of research software engineering.

We ran the first survey in 2016, which provided an insight into the demographics, job satisfaction, and practices of research software engineers (RSEs) in the UK. To support and broaden this work, the institute will conduct the survey at regular intervals and extend the geographical coverage to facilitate inter-country comparisons. The results of the surveys, anonymised and open licensed, will act as a a valuable resource to understand and improve the working conditions for RSEs.

In 2017 we also surveyed Canadian RSEs and we added four countries, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa and USA. Our thanks to our partners: Scott Henwood (Canada), Stephan Janosch and Martin Hammitzsch (Germany), Ben van Werkhoven and Tom Bakker (Netherlands), Anelda van der Walt (South Africa) and Daniel Katz and Sandra Gesing (USA).

Since 2018 we have worked differently and created a survey for all countries (rather than one survey for each one).

This site covers the 2022 survey results.

Composition of the survey

The base questions for the survey were tailored to meet the requirements of each country. They covered ten subjects:

  1. Demographics: traditional social and economic questions, such as gender, age, salary and education.
  2. Coding: how much code do RSEs write, how often, and for whom.
  3. Employment: questions about where RSEs work and in which disciplines.
  4. Current contract: understanding stability of employment by questioning the type of employment contract RSEs receive.
  5. Previous employment: understanding routes into the profession the reasons for choosing it.
  6. Collaboration and training: who RSEs work with, how many people they work with, and the training they conduct.
  7. Publications: do RSEs contribute to publications and are they acknowledged?
  8. Sustainability and tools: testing, bus factor, technical handover. Also which tools they are using
  9. Job satisfaction: what do RSEs think about their job and their career?
  10. Network: how do RSEs meet and gain representation? These subjects are not necessarily investigated under this order, neither published with that order.


Here is a list of contributors for the 2022 version of the survey in last name alphabetic order:

  • Radovan Bast, Norway/Nordics
  • Alex Botzki, Belgium
  • Jeff Carver, US
  • Ian Cosden, US
  • Steve Crouch, UK
  • Florencia D’Andrea, Argentina
  • Abhishek Dasgupta, UK
  • William Godoy, US
  • Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Argentina
  • Ulf Hamster, Germany
  • Scott Henwood, Canada
  • Simon Hettrick, UK
  • Patric Holmvall, Sweden/Nordics
  • Stephan Janosch, Germany
  • Thibault Lestang, France
  • Nick May, New Zealand
  • Olivier Philippe, UK
  • Johan Philips, Belgium
  • Nooriyah Poonawala-Lohani, New Zealand
  • Paul Richmond, UK
  • Manodeep Sinha, Australia
  • Florian Thiery, Germany
  • Ben van Werkhoven, Netherlands
  • Claire Wyatt, UK
  • Qian Zhang, Canada


This repository contains code and public data. We have different licences for each

The repository is also be archived on Zenodo: If you want to cite this work and need a citation in a specific format, you can use the citation service on Zenodo.


To reproduce the analysis on your computer, see the instructions in the GitHub survey repository README file.


The citation for the 2022 version is:

Simon Hettrick, Radovan Bast, Alex Botzki, Jeff Carver, Ian Cosden, Steve Crouch, Florencia D’Andrea, Abhishek Dasgupta, William Godoy, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Ulf Hamster, Scott Henwood, Patric Holmvall, Stephan Janosch, Thibault Lestang, Nick May, Olivier Philippe, Johan Philips, Nooriyah Poonawala-Lohani, Paul Richmond, Manodeep Sinha, Florian Thiery, Ben van Werkhoven, Claire Wyatt & Qian Zhang. “RSE Survey 2022”, Pre-final release for 2022 results (Version 2022-v0.9.0). Zenodo DOI: Check the repository’s citation file.

The citation for the 2018 version is:

Olivier Philippe, Martin Hammitzsch, Stephan Janosch, Anelda van der Walt, Ben van Werkhoven, Simon Hettrick, … Manodeep Sinha. (2019, March 6). softwaresaved/international-survey: Public release for 2018 results (Version 2018-v.1.0.2). Zenodo DOI:


The Software Sustainability Institute is supported by EPSRC grant EP/H043160/1 and EPSRC/ESRC/BBSRC grant EP/N006410/1, with additional project funding from Jisc and NERC. Collaboration between the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford and Southampton.