ask-rse is a free-at-the-point-of-use research software consultancy run by the Bristol RSE team. Researchers at the University of Bristol can contact the team at for advice covering topics across the research software lifecycle (e.g. funding, design, development, maintenance, testing, debugging, distribution, publication).

ask-rse consultations can take the a variety of forms, depending on the needs of the researcher. The team are happy to arrange one-to-one meetings, code reviews, and pair programming sessions.

Through ask-rse, the RSE team can often offer a small amount of free RSE work on a project or issue. Short-term, targeted application of RSE expertise and practices can have a significant positive impact on a research software project. This can involve, for example

  • Finding and fixing difficult bugs in existing codes
  • Identifying performance bottlenecks and proposing solutions
  • Researching and scoping software and tools to solve research and technical problems
  • Prototyping possible solutions to a problem
  • Assisting with setup of tools and infrastructure supporting software development best practices

We have expertise in a wide variety of programming languages. Particular specialties are Python, R, C++ and Fortran, but we can provide help on pretty much any programming question in any language.

Through all these activities, the RSE team aims to support researchers to develop skills and adopt tools and processes that enable the development of reusable, robust, and sustainable research software.

Follow the links below to read case studies describing recent impactful ask-rse interactions:

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