Research and innovation culture

The success of the research system depends on the people working within it. To answer complex research questions requires a diverse community of people in a wide range of roles, along with a culture that welcomes difference and supports constructive debate and challenge.

How we support the full range of people and ideas in research and innovation, connected through a diversity of career pathways is key to creating a highly effective research culture.

We strive to foster a system where everyone is appreciated and valued, that works for everyone, by everyone.

The role of UKRI

UKRI is uniquely positioned to catalyse efforts to improve culture, building on good work already under way, to connect up the whole system, covering multiple disciplines and cross-sector research and innovation.

Our approach in this area is multi-faceted and includes:

  • reflecting on our own systems and processes
  • how these influence the wider system
  • improving our understanding of how we can support the whole research and innovation (R&I) community to catalyse the co-creation of environments that support a positive culture.

We will:

  • support the ongoing creation and development of positive cultures across the research and innovation sector
  • build the evidence base of what contributes to positive culture and the relationship between positive culture and quality research
  • raise awareness of the importance of research and innovation culture nationally and internationally, and share our work in this area
  • lead by example by embedding research and innovation culture within UKRI.

Main activities

These include:

  • working in partnership with others to advance research culture agendas and ambitions, including responsible research assessment by linking to CoARA and DORA
  • supporting the R&I community adoption of narrative CVs for use in funding, recruitment, promotion and beyond. The work of both the Joint Funders Groupand the Alternative Uses Group and the curation of their best practice in the Résumé Resources Library is collectively minimising unnecessary bureaucracy through shared approaches. It will accelerate culture change by enabling a more efficient, cohesive and comprehensive approach to assessing what is visible and valued across a range of personal and organisational needs
  • rolling out the UKRI Résumé for Research and Innovation narrative CV across UKRI funding opportunities, to support wider recognition of diverse contributions and career paths
  • curating a multidisciplinary Good research resource hub to help individuals, groups and organisations deliver excellent work and create positive environments
  • making progress to the Good Practice Exchange (GPEx), using the findings of the Research culture initiatives in the UK report, to create connections, build the evidence, and champion culture change across the R&I sector
  • catalysing a joined-up approach to the ethical implications of research by convening individuals and organisations who consider these questions across the sector to think about useful resources that can be developed
  • contributing to the evidence base by gathering insights on various initiatives currently in place across the research and innovation sector, and their impact on research culture. Examples include:
  • commissioning work with others to gather insights on the adoption of various initiatives currently in place in the research sector and their impact on research culture
  • working collaboratively with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and others to deliver the ambitions and commitments outlined in the research and development (R&D) people and culture strategy.

Key resources

Find policies, standards and guidance on research and innovation culture in our good research resource hub.

Read UKRI’s research culture explainer.

Open letters on research culture

Read more about UKRI’s response to open letters we have received on research culture.

Get in touch

Contact us to find out more about research and innovation culture.


Last updated: 17 June 2024

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