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Transforming research culture

We’re making our university a more supportive, creative, inclusive and open place to carry out research.

Our ‘Transforming Research Culture’ plan aims to ensure that a positive research culture is embedded in our research and innovation portfolio. It will bring together individuals working to enhance culture across the university, and will increase visibility and effectiveness in delivering change.

The proposal includes an increased focus on addressing systemic and structural issues affecting our researcher population, as well as support for responsible research assessment, open research, and enhanced recognition of the contribution of everyone involved in research.

The proposal is based on extensive consultation with colleagues involved in research from across the university. It follows on from our involvement with the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Reimagine Research’ initiative, including hosting of a Wellcome Trust Town Hall, and exploration of the findings from Wellcome’s UK-wide survey on what researchers think about the culture they work in.

Our aims

Our Transforming Research Culture plan:

  • Recognises that positive culture is an ongoing process which requires strong buy-in from senior leaders, and from individuals across the University.
  • Recognises that some issues will be more challenging and take time to address.
  • Brings together various commitments, action plans and strategies into one overarching research culture strategy.
  • Is evidence-based and research / researcher-led.
  • Is dynamic and agile and belongs to the entire research community.
  • Shifts from a place of compliance to one of values and positive behaviours.
  • Works to core values and behaviours that understand research culture to be everything a researcher does that supports research.

How we will achieve this

The ‘Transforming Research Cultures’ proposal aligns to four strategic priorities and related activities. The list below is not exclusive.

Strategy and governance

  • We will create an integrated research action plan, and commit to publication of progress.
  • We will continue to garner input from researchers and those that support research from across the University.
  • We will report to the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research Innovation and Enterprise with updates on progress.

Policies and procedures

  • We will introduce and publicise a research culture code of conduct that is easy to understand and mandated across all research teams and units.
  • We will review processes and procedures that support career development, inclusive practice and open and honest research.

Training and support

  • We will review our training and support programmes to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and promote positive research culture practices.

Visibility, recognition and reward

  • We will reflect upon, develop and embed reward and recognition for positive research culture practices.
  • We will further develop our work on responsible research assessment.
  • We will extend ECR involvement in research decision-making.
  • We will promote and value career paths and opportunities for individuals outside of the ‘teaching and research’ pathway who play a vital role in ‘team research’.

Our Research Culture Working Group, chaired by Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Dean of Research Environment and Culture, will be responsible for implementing the research culture action plan.

Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

University Dean of Research Environment and Culture

+44 (0)29 208 79414