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Enhancing Research Culture Fund projects

Projects that were funded from the third round of the University of Bath's Enhancing Research Culture Fund from Research England.

A photo taking at dusk of the Claverton Rooms on campus.
Twenty projects will support the enhancement of our research culture at the University of Bath

The following projects have been awarded funding from the Enhancing Research Culture Fund 2024:

Research Recognition

WomenCAN: Building Success by Recognizing and Valuing Women’s Contributions
Carol A. Taylor, Sally Hewlitt (Education)
Details to follow

Career Development

Increasing engagement in KE and Impact activities to enhance Career Development Opportunities
Andy Watts and Tim Rogers (Faculty of Science)
We will increase engagement in Knowledge Exchange and Impact in Science by demonstrating the benefits to research and career development. We will deliver Bootcamps to support researchers to develop their UKRI narrative CVs, which must include descriptions of how their research has influence/impacted external stakeholders, and/or delivered wider change. Pump priming funds will be awarded to staff with ideas to meaningfully bolster their Narrative CV.

Including research-active staff on teaching-only contracts in the research culture at Bath
Aline Courtois (Department of Education), Ludovic Highman (School of Management), Janina Iwaniec (Department of Education)
Research-active teaching staff can be excluded from grant application opportunities, research recognition via REF, and research-focused activities at departmental level – though there is anecdotal evidence that practice varies significantly across the university. We will identify their needs and opportunities to better include, support and/or recognise them in contract-appropriate ways.

Changing Expectations: Transforming Careers for Research Staff
Annali Bamber-Jones (RIS), Mike Rose (RIS)
This project will build a tailored programme of career development support for research staff, encouraging broad career exploration and building a research community who feel equipped and empowered to engage in non-academic career advancement, supported by colleagues and peers. The approach encompasses four strands: communication campaign, masterclasses, retreats and online resources.

Science Communication Ambassadors
Anna Powell and Sarah Baker-Gaunt (Faculty of Science)
We’re recruiting a cohort of student and postdoc “science communication ambassadors” to promote a culture of sharing research success, elevate the profile of our research, and develop skills and alternative career prospects for early career colleagues.

Specialist news and social media training
Chris Melvin, Tom Mason (Department of Communications)
Through specialist training, we will create a new cohort of researchers from across the University confident in communicating about their research in the news media and on social media. The scheme will offer confidence, skills and new networks within our Faculties and School of Management.

Building ECR’s Career and Network capabilities
Michael Stimmelmayr, Ara Jo (Department of Economics)
Details to follow

Bespoke Career Development for ECRs in Physics
Simon Bending, Carolin Villforth, Kristina Rusimova (Department of Physics)
Early career researchers (PGRs, PDRAs, Fellows) face complex career decisions. A bespoke career development scheme for ECRs in Physics will include training, events, and a research seminar series that exposes both ECRs and the Department as a whole to a wide range of research and career opportunities outside the university.

Research Roadshow
Oli Schofield (Doctoral College), Emily Richards (HSS)
We’re partnering up with The Bath Medical Museum to provide an opportunity for doctoral students to disseminate their research to a non-specialised audience. Doctoral students will receive training and buddying support as part of this development project.


Enhancing Doctoral Supervision
Rachel Arnold (Academic Director, Doctoral, Health) and Professor Joe Devine (Associate Pro VC Doctoral, SPS), Shyeni Paul and Oli Schofield (Doctoral College) and Annali Bamber-Jones (RIS)
This project aims to support doctoral supervisors in providing an environment where doctoral students succeed and thrive. Specifically, the project will co-produce an interactive doctoral supervision workshop and train facilitators in order to, subsequently, roll the workshop out to all doctoral supervisors at the University. If interested in being a part of the co-production, please contact Joe Devine and Rachel Arnold.

Doctoral Festival of Ideas
Alice Forty, Oli Schofield (Doctoral College)
We will host an ambitious whole-institution Festival of Ideas in June 2024 to support the development of research, raise the profile of doctoral research across the institution, and improve student connectivity to their peers and staff. The event includes faculty-specific and interdisciplinary sessions to enhance connections within and outside of ‘home’ discipline.

Towards a positive research environment after a change in doctoral supervision
Janet Bultitude, Leda Blackwood (Psychology)
We will conduct research to identify factors that contribute to negative versus positive experiences of changing doctoral supervisors. The outcome of this study will be a best practice guide explaining what students, supervisors, DOSs and HODs can do to ensure the best possible transition for both the students and staff involved.

Expansion of the Doctoral Coaching Network
Oli Schofield (Doctoral College), Kate Elliott (HR)
To support student demand for our doctoral coaching network, we are using the ERC Fund to train an additional 5 members of staff to expand the pool of coaches. To diversify our network, we are targeting male colleagues in this round.

Enhancing the research culture and sharing best practice in the research centres of the Faculty of Engineering & Design
Professor Chris Bowen, Alison Ryan (Engineering and Design)
Our previous project developed Centre- level Research Culture Action Plans. This project will support Research Centre Leadership Teams to manage research culture challenges collectively, and cement cross-centre collaboration by sharing and developing their initiatives to facilitate a successful, collaborative and multidisciplinary culture within the research centres.

Research Design

Building a sustainable labs culture, network and support
Alice Lowe, Climate Action Team
Through the Climate Action Framework (CAF), the University has made comprehensive commitments responding to the climate emergency including embedding sustainability into research. The Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) tackles lab sustainability, and this grant will facilitate and accelerate changes to further embed a culture of sustainability and empower colleagues to collaboratively drive change.

Building capacity and capability for Responsible Research and Innovation
Helen Featherstone (Public Engagement Unit), Jenny Reynolds (RIS)
Working with Bath-based Kilter Theatre, who are emerging as leaders in creative approaches in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), the Public Engagement Unit will host a series of sessions for staff to develop their skills and expertise to to support colleagues in all job families to consider RRI within their context.

Unlocking the Potential for Qualitative Data to guide our work
Sarah Jones, Laura Wisby (RIS)
We will employ qualitative approaches in HSS to develop insights on: reviewer and panel feedback, experiences of panel meetings, the research development support and submission process, and the experiences of developing large initiatives. Insights will strengthen understanding and develop a culture of learning and sharing for the benefit of others.

Developing a Cohesive and Collegiate Qualitative Research Culture
Ioannis Costas Batlle (Education), Bonnie Pang (Health), Ms Hiu Yi Lin (Education), Vibhor Mathur (Social and Policy Sciences), Bryan C. Clift (Health), Annayah Prosser (Management) – All colleagues of the Centre for Qualitative Research
We aim to advance qualitative research design, develop external partnerships, and create a cohesive culture of qualitative research across the University. Responding to doctoral and ECR needs, we will: build partnerships through a seminar series, deliver qualitative research design clinics, and create a repository of qualitative expertise at the university to support interdisciplinary connections.

Research Ethics and Integrity

The Researcher Wellbeing Project (RWP): Addressing Researcher Distress, Trauma and Secondary Trauma
Tina Skinner (SPS), Sarah Halligan (Psychology), Heather Girling (HR), Kristine Brance (SPS)
Emotionally challenging research has the potential to cause secondary trauma in researchers. Our follow-on project will allow us to further unpack our findings to identify appropriate support, raise awareness of researcher wellbeing, liaise with senior management to enable the funding/development of a framework of support, pilot/embed learning and develop tools that can be shared more widely.

Beyond Ethics Committees: A Cross-Disciplinary PGR Event
Maria Jose Ventura Alfaro (SPS)
Details to follow

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