For group leaders

You, or someone in your group, has requested Research Software Engineer services for one of your group’s projects. This service provides specialist support for software, data, and open science so that you can focus on the science that is interesting to you. You probably have some questions about an outsider coming in to your project, and this page will answer those practical questions. For researchers using our services, also see How we work.

There are two funding strategies:

  • Short term (a few days or less) might be funded by your department.

  • Longer term is funded from your own projects.

Access to data

Our goal is not to come in, wave our hands, and leave you with something unusable. Instead, we want to come in and set you up to work yourself in the future. Thus, (if it’s necessary) we’ll want the same access to your group’s data/workspace/tools as you have.

This access is removed after the project is finished. We will try to remember this, but sometimes projects drag on with no clear ending (or you want long-term consultation), so you should also pay attention to this. Out of principle (+ policies), we don’t use admin access to access any of your data.

NDAs, intellectual property, etc.

The RSE staff are Aalto employees and are automatically bound to confidentiality, and have signed the same extra confidentiality agreement that Aalto IT system administrators have, and are similarly vetted.

Using our services doesn’t affect your intellectual property right any more than another employee working on the project will. This is service-for-pay, so you get all rights. However, our RSEs expect to be acknowledged according to good scientific practice (see How we work).


If the project lasts a short time (a few days or less), and you are in one of the sponsoring units, then the service may be free (depending on your unit’s policies).

Otherwise, you will be expected to fund the RSEs out of your own projects or basic funding. This is done by adding the your project numbers to the RSE’s Halli, so that their salary can be directly paid from your project. The advantage is that this is identical to researcher funding, so it is compatible with almost all pre-existing grants.

We will contact you and your department’s controller to set the budget and get things set up. (If you are reading this, you are one of the pilot cases so we’ll figure it out together.)

New grants

If you are applying for a new grant, you can directly write Research Software Engineering services into your grant (or some similar name that sounds good to your reviewers). See Boilerplate text for grant proposals.