Midlands university research culture network launches

A new network is now available to staff who lead on research culture within universities across the Midlands, thanks to the Midlands Innovation (MI) partnership.

While the academic sector can be competitive, the eight universities within the Midlands Innovation partnership believe that to address the culture in research, collaboration, not competition, is key, which is why the partnership has established the Midlands Research Culture Network.

The first meeting of the network took place at the University of Nottingham, with representatives from 14 universities across the region participating. The group discussed a number of areas including:

  • Institutional approaches to research culture
  • National Disability Network input into the Research Excellence Framework
  • Research monitoring indicators and monitoring progress
  • Future collaboration.

The culture in research and development is one being discussed at a national level with Research England proposing changes to the Research Excellence Framework to include a new ‘people, culture and environment’ category, and, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, the Chief Executive of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), discussing the need to move away from the ‘lone-genius’ academic research stereotype to a system which better recognises all those who help to make research happen.

Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation, said: “I’m thrilled Midlands Innovation is establishing this new network and we’ve been able to bring together representatives from so many universities in the region for its first meeting.

“The Board of Vice-Chancellors of Midlands Innovation agreed a new five-year strategy for the partnership, with a new ‘People’ focus one of our five strategic priorities.

“We have a desire to build on the work and initiatives that Midlands Innovation has long championed which support improving the culture in research. Be that through securing the largest UK investment to advance the careers of technicians through our TALENT Programme and TALENT Commission, to the work we’re undertaking to raise the profile of ‘research enablers’– the Professional Investment Strategy Managers (PRISMs), which UKRI invited us to showcase in Parliament. Midlands Innovation is committed to collaborating and sharing best practice for the benefit of the whole of the research community.”

To express an interest in finding out more about the Midlands Research Culture Network, please email the Midlands Innovation Team via: info@midlandsinnovation.org.uk

Published: 3rd May 2024

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