Aims and Objectives

Research software engineers are experts who work closely with researchers to improve the software used in research. They enable good practices in research software and thus make research more open and efficient. Despite the importance of Research Software Engineers, the majority of the existing RSE community (Philippe et al, 2019) are self-taught. There is a gap in professional education and cohort network for RSEs: even more so for those specializing in High Performance Computing.

UNIVERSE-HPC or ‘Understanding and Nurturing an Integrated Vision for Education in RSE and HPC’ will define a training curriculum framework – spanning from undergraduate to continuing professional development level - for Research Software Engineers (RSEs) specializing in high performance computing (HPC).

This will provide clear routes to enable more people from a wide diversity of disciplines and backgrounds to obtain the skills and experience they require to have a successful RSE career: working within centers of excellence, RSE groups, and embedded in research groups. Together this will provide the skilled workforce required by the UK to harness large-scale computing as the UK prepares to exploit exascale.

It will develop and pilot the curriculum and necessary course materials to underpin a professional training programme in RSE and HPC, supported by cohort- and community-building activities, acting as a knowledge integration hub for those with a stake in education and training for RSEs, including other ExCALIBUR projects, those extending Carpentries training for HPC and RSE, and existing and future initiatives in this area.

Meet the project team.


The Exascale Computing ALgorithms & Infrastructures Benefiting UK Research (ExCALIBUR) is a UK research programme that aims to deliver the next generation of high-performance simulation software for the highest priority fields in UK research. It started in October 2019 and will run through March 2025, redesigning high priority computer codes and algorithms to meet the demands of both advancing technology and UK research.

The programme is led by the Met Office and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) along with the Public Sector Research Establishment, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) research councils, including the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC).

For more information: https://excalibur.ac.uk/about-excalibur/