People and culture are central to the delivery of excellent research and to creating the dynamic community required. Recognising this, the University has approved a programme of work looking at delivering positive change in the research culture at the University of Bath. This builds on work by the Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, the Russell Group and the publication of the Government’s R&D People and Culture Strategy.

Central to this work is the Research Culture Working Group, recently established by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE FREng and chaired by Professor Julie Barnett, Associate Dean Research in Humanities and Social Sciences.

The group membership is made up of colleagues from across the University to reflect the range of individuals who contribute to our excellent research.

The group will oversee a set of activities across the institution to enhance our research culture, aligned around the following pillars:

  • Career Development; Supporting colleagues to achieve their chosen career paths – not just academic
  • Collegiality; Creating an environment in which colleagues support each other to succeed
  • Open Research; Supporting transparency, rigour, and reproducibility of research and valuing different research output types
  • Research Design; Supporting excellent, flexible and appropriate research design
  • Research Integrity and Ethics; Supporting research that is conducted to the highest standards of academic rigour
  • Research Recognition; Recognising and celebrating the widest range of inputs to our excellent research

The activities, funded by the Research England Enhancing Research Culture fund, are led by Research and Innovation Services, HR, Marketing and Communications, Race Equality Task Force, Doctoral College, Facilities Managers, Research Software Engineers, the Library, VC’s Office, and our EDI Team.

The activities include workshops to enable conversations about our current research culture and to reflect on what a better culture would look like; opportunities to celebrate research at Bath and the range of individuals that make it happen; training opportunities around ethical research, doctoral supervision and resilient leadership; and scoping work around Public Patient Involvement in research.

Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bath, says:

The commitment from government to support activities which create a positive change for research culture is putting people at the heart of R&D. This reflects the values that are central to our new University strategy and define our characteristics as a community. I look forward to the new University-wide programme being delivered and opening up a dialogue for positive change of research culture, ultimately providing a stronger foundation for our research excellence.