On Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 June, Universities UK hosted a free online event for all staff in research ecosystem to explore research culture and practice, in partnership with the Technician Commitment and Researcher Development, Research Integrity and Knowledge Exchange Concordats.

With sessions spread over two days, we heard from a range of fantastic speakers about the huge amount of activity being done to address research culture and practice issues in the sector. Speakers included researchers, institutional concordat leads, members of concordat steering groups, as well as representatives from government, funders, industry and policy organisations.

Day one provided insight into the role of a number of different concordats and initiatives responsible for driving positive research culture, how universities are implementing them, and the benefits they bring. We also heard about the changing landscape for technical professionals in higher education and research, before ending day one with a future facing discussion about how to keep the momentum going and ensure concordats and initiatives continue to be effective in a changing landscape.

Day two took a deep dive into key research culture and practice issues, progress, and achievements. Professor Melanie Welham, the UKRI Executive Champion for People, Culture and Talent, opened with an overview of the work that UKRI are doing to support people, culture and talent. We heard about how institutions are implementing research integrity principles and practice and how knowledge exchange contributes to a positive research culture.

There was also a session exploring examples of good practice in the sector to address the systemic issue of job precarity in academic research and technical roles, featuring a fantastic example of collaboration between stakeholders at the University of Bath in their progressive agreement to address casualisation. Another session explored the opportunities available to researchers to apply their knowledge and expertise beyond academia.

We are excited to keep the momentum from these discussions going. To arrange a discussion, or if you would like to submit a Researcher Story to raise awareness of good practice in supporting the career development of researchers, please contact CDRSecretariat@universitiesuk.ac.uk.

If you would like to watch the session recordings of the Research Culture and Practice Forum, please visit the Events UUK YouTube channel.

In case you missed it..