Talks and Posters Guidance

Talks and posters can be on any topic of interest to the research software engineering community. There was much variety in the talks last year at RSE17; we had talks on:

  • Using containers and workflow managers to yield reproducible research and papers
  • Developing and running a grant-funded RSE project
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Guides to how to get the most out of the latest CPU and GPU technologies
  • Teaching software engineering
  • Strategies and systems for massively-parallel environmental modelling
  • much more..

Posters were also exhibited at several locations around the venue at last year’s conference.  These afforded presenters the opportunity to engage with discussions with attendees on a 1:1 basis and could focus on topics that were an interest to a subset of all attendees.  The RSE17 posters, like the talks, were also rather diverse (see the subset that were made available publicly available after the conference); for example, some covered:

  • Client/server software for spectrometers
  • Where the RSE sits in the process of helping research technologies reach maturity
  • Data cleaning clinic and tools for researchers

Note that the above are just examples – we’d love to be surprised by a talk or poster on something novel that we haven’t come across before.

The opportunities to present a talk and a poster on a given theme aren’t mutually exclusive; you can propose both a talk and a poster, but it may not be possible to accommodate both proposals.  On the submission form you can specify if you do want to submit both and which type you would prefer to deliver.

Dr Ian Bush presenting at the RSE 2016 conference.

© Oxford e-Research Centre, University Of Oxford.


Novel technologies and methods

New languages, libraries, modules, approaches, infrastructure, hardware, methodologies etc, or current, possibly domain-specific, technologies/methods used in new contexts.  For example new techniques or tools for data processing and analysis, HPC systems and parallel programming.

Good practice for software development

Topics relevant to developing maintainable, verifiable and accessible software, workflows and infrastructure for reproducible research — code documentation & user guides, maintainability, version control, testing, etc.  Also, teaching and disseminating good practices – research software engineering pedagogy.

Researcher-developer partnership

Topics related to the critical close collaboration between developers and researchers to facilitate relevant, novel and reproducible research from software solutions — conceptualising software solutions from specifications, meeting user requirements, validation & verification, communication skills, etc.

Community and careers

Perspectives of the RSE community and visions of how we can grow and improve it and ensure that it is sustainable. Non-technical skills RSEs need and cultural issues our community must address.  International perspectives are welcome.


Format and timing

The talks will last 15 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for questions and will run in parallel sessions with attendees choosing which to attend.  See last year’s programme to see how talks were sequenced by theme. Note that if you wish to incorporate debate and discussion in your talk then you may wish to propose a discussion workshop instead.


If you require particular resources for your talk (e.g. if you want to do a live demo and have particular requirements re network bandwidth or firewall exceptions) then let us know either when you first propose your talk or up to eight weeks before the conference (before Monday 9th July).

Wider dissemination after the conference:

  • Your slides can be published on the RSE18 website, as was done last year;
  • Accepted speakers may have the opportunity to publish a short paper in the conference proceedings after the event.  Further information on this will be made available in due course.


Format and resources

We are flexible with the format of poster we accept: your poster can be a single sheet of paper, a number of smaller sheets of paper or if you are feeling adventurous, could be accompanied by a live demo or an interactive version of poster (e.g. a Jupyter Notebook).  You could even opt to present just an interactive poster. Pinboards and materials for mounting paper posters will be provided. Maximum dimensions of paper posters are still to be confirmed but are likely to be similar to those from last year’s conference (posters could be landscape or portrait but couldn’t be more than 1m on their longest side). If you plan on featuring a live demo or live poster then you need to state what resources you require in the way of wifi bandwidth, firewall exemptions, power sockets, tables, chairs etc, either when you submit your proposal or up to eight weeks before the conference (before Monday 9th July).

Timing and location

Posters will  be exhibited throughout the two-day conference in locations where there will  be a reasonable amount of passing traffic. There should be plenty of time during breaks and lunches to engage with attendees regarding your poster.

Wider dissemination

After the conference your poster can be published on the RSE18 website (if you wish).

Planning your submission

When submitting your proposal for a talk and/or poster, you will need to specify the following details:

Topic and abstract

  • The abstract should be relatively brief and attention-grabbing rather than an exhaustive explanation of the material you wish to cover.
  • Both the topic and the abstract will be published on the conference website.


  • Would your target audience be required to have any prerequisite skills/background knowledge e.g. knowledge of a particular language?


  • How will your attendees benefit from the talk/poster?  What do you expect them to gain/learn?


  • Talks
    • Do you require particular resources on/for the machine used to deliver the presentation (network bandwidth, firewall exceptions, certain software etc)?
    • Do you have any other requirements related to the delivery of the presentation e.g. to props?
  • Posters
    • Do you require resources such as power sockets, wifi, tables and/or chairs?  Do you need significant network bandwidth and/or firewall exceptions?
  • All resource requirements should be submitted at least 8 weeks before the conference (before Monday 9th July).

How to submit a proposal

Just a short form

The initial application is via this simple form and follows the format outlined above.