National Research Software Day 2024

At National Research Software Day, researchers, policymakers, Research Software Engineers and community leaders are invited to come together to celebrate the power of collaboration and community for quality research software on 23 April at Beeld & Geluid in Hilversum.


9.30-10.00 Registration & Coffee

Location: Middenplein

10.00-10.15 Plenary Welcome

Location: Theater 1

Nicolas Renaud, Technical Director, Netherlands eScience Center

Lieke de Boer, Community Manager, Netherlands eScience Center

10.15-11.00 Keynote: Rogier Kievit

Open Research Software in times of change

In this keynote lecture I will discuss the mismatch between the crucial importance of Open Research Software (with its widespread use both within and beyond academia) and the lack of systematic support and recognition. The drawbacks of this state of affairs are many and varied, and include a lack of recognition and career options for developers, decreased diversity and representation, suboptimal support for users and inefficient research spending. I hope to sketch a route forward to better embed open research software not just as a tool, but as a viable academic career. Along the way I will discuss accidents with buses, NIMFR-ism, medieval tide recordings, and getting to the bottom of things.

11.00-11.25 Coffee Break

11.25-12.40 Parallel Sessions

Defining Research Software Skills for Researchers, Research Supporters and Decision Makers

Location: theater 1

Mateusz Kuzak, Paula Martinez-Lavanchy, Jaro Camphuijsen and Fenne Riemslagh

This session will focus on identifying research software skills needed by three relevant stakeholders involved in making research software reusable and sustainable: researchers, research supporters (such as data stewards, data librarians, information specialists, etc.) and decision-makers (coordinators, managers and policymakers). 

We invite researchers, research supporters, software engineers, policymakers and other research professionals to join the session. They will work collaboratively, combining their experience and expertise to define learning outcomes and learning activities that future training (materials) should cover for these three groups of stakeholders. 

At the end of the session, we will give an overview of existing training resources that researchers and research supporters can already follow. We will also highlight ongoing initiatives in this area.

National Infrastructures for Sustainable Software

Location: theater 2

Carlos Martinez-Ortiz, Luisa Orozco, Daniela Gawehns

Researchers in all domains use digital infrastructures to develop software, share their data or archive their work. In this session, we want to discuss the boundaries and limitations of those infrastructures in terms of accessibility, domain specificity and funding. We have invited panellists from providers of research infrastructure (4TU.researchdata and the research software directory) as well as active users and a meta scientist to discuss how those boundaries impact researchers day-to-day work.
Recognition & Rewards for Research Software

Location: Beng lab 1

Tjitske Holtrop, Dan Rudmann (Leiden University)
Together, we will develop a wider picture of recognition, reward, and evaluation for the efforts of people working on research software. Our presentation will address the Strategy Evaluation Protocol, which is the Dutch national framework for research valuation; the Dutch Recognition and Reward movement that is a big player in the debate on assessment reform; and the Leiden Academia in Motion initiative, which is a local attempt to bring together reform in research valuation and open science. Against this backdrop, we will facilitate an interactive exercise around the visibilities and invisibilities of research software work and the implications for recognition, reward, and valuation.
Writing Reproducible Research Software

Location: Beng lab 2

Shauna Ni Fhlaithearta (Wageningen University & Research)

Research models that influence policy making are under special scrutiny from the public. Practices that ensure research model quality are essential to maintain public trust. Join this session to meet the Wageningen Modelling Group, who will introduce their tools for model quality and management. Their presentation will be followed by a group-led discussion about:

  • How can we transfer best practices from model quality management to software quality management?
  • What are good enough practices for reproducible, transparent and auditable research software?
  • Which research software is critical and should be audited like the models in Wageningen?

12.40-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.15 Unconference sessions

The unconference session allows groups of people to discuss a topic that interests them in a way that furthers our knowledge of that topic. The output of the unconference session is a speed blog post from each group to help disseminate the insights to the wider community.

13.30-13.45: Pitches by unconference leaders

Up to 15 pitches will be presented during this time. Participants will choose their preferred session and go to their assigned rooms.

13.45-14.00: Finding rooms and locations

14.00-15.15: Unconference work

The discussion session lasts for 75 minutes. That is not enough time to discuss the subject in depth, but we find it’s about the right amount of time to determine the main points and write them up as speed blog.

In the first five minutes, you should choose a Chair and a Note-taker. The Chair’s role is to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard, and keep everyone on topic. The Note-taker takes notes in the collaborative document (see below) for their group. They should note down the pertinent points from the discussion that can then be used as the basis for constructing the speed blog about the session. Everyone in the group should support the Note-taker in making notes and writing a speed blog).


Some tips for the session

A good way to start is to ask what participants in the group want from the discussion. Are people looking to solve a problem, wanting to promote a solution, or do they simply want to know more about the topic? If you can get a handle on what people want from the discussion, it’s much easier to keep everyone on topic.

Focus on what can be changed! It’s easy with some topics to focus on a discussion of the problems and overlook the process of finding a solution.

It is important to give the first 40 minutes of time to the discussion and not worry about writing the blog post. It can be hard to explore a topic and write a coherent text at the same time. Once the 40 minutes are up, your group should move on to writing the blog post for which you will have approximately 35 minutes. It’s best to get a text written during this time. A first decent draft is a good start! After the event, the eScience Center editorial team will ask you if you want to work on it further before we publish them after the event.


15.15-15.40 Coffee Break

15.40-16.25 Keynote: Jenny Bryan

Self-development for the research software developer

The first keynote presentation addresses the structural challenges facing those who create and maintain research software. I will continue in this theme, but pivot to the more personal side of things. Almost by definition, most research software engineers are substantially self-taught, because there really is no standard path in this line of work. It can be hard to organize your own self-development, but it’s also extremely rewarding. I’ll share some approaches and resources that have been valuable for me over the years. My intent is that the audience will find some affirmation as well as inspiration for charting their own course.

16:25-16:35 Plenary closing
16.35-17.30 Drinks

Location: Grand Café

Keynote speakers

Rogier Kievit

Rogier Kievit is Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen and Senior Associate Scientist at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge. He studies the rise and fall of cognitive functions across the lifespan by relating brain function, brain structure and cognition in developing populations using multivariate modeling techniques. His group, the Lifespan Cognitive Dynamics Lab, develops and uses research software in a variety of research applications.

Jenny Bryan

Jenny Bryan is known for her open source contributions in R. Influential contributions include the use of Lego and the concept of data rectangling for explaining programming concepts, reproducible research, and advice on project and workflow organisation. She is well known for her work on efficient methods of working in spreadsheets, and the connection between R and spreadsheet software. She is the primary developer of several R packages that help users connect R to office tools. She is also known for her work in teaching, and her involvement with the leadership committee at rOpenSci.


The National Research Software Day takes place at Beeld & Geluid, Hilversum. Beeld & Geluid serves as the place where media come together; within their vibrant Mediamuseum, extensive archive, online or at various locations. All forms of Dutch media heritage find a home in their immense archive, encompassing radio and television programs, video games, music and podcasts, as well as political cartoons and photographs.

Spotify playlist

During registration, participants filled out their favourite song related to programming, community and collaboration. The Spotify playlist of those songs can be found here.

Art Exhibition

During National Research Software Day, artists who use concepts commonly used in research and software to make beautiful, thought-provoking art will exhibit their work. Below you can find the names and websites of the artists involved.

Christian Schwarz

Kuangyi Xing

Eusebi Jugcla

Guido van der Kooij 


Programme Committee

Dan Rudmann (Leiden University) 
Daniela Gawehns (Reproducibility Network) 
Maaike de Jong (Netherlands eScience Center)
Maria Cruz (Open Science NL) 
Margriet Miedema (LCRDM) 
Lieke de Boer (Netherlands eScience Center)
Lisa Yu (UvA Data Science Centre) 

Organizing Committee

Jacqueline Weiner (Netherlands eScience Center)
Lieke de Boer (Netherlands eScience Center)
Sacha van Breugel (Netherlands eScience Center)


For questions and inquiries, please contact

Unconference Links

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