Advance HE welcomes 29 of the UK’s leading research institutes to membership in our 2020-21 membership year. We are committed to supporting our research institute members as they tackle the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and strive to build a diverse research environment and healthy research culture.
We work closely with our members and the sector, and in the coming year Advance HE will focus our support in four key areas:
- developing resilience
- designing flexible programmes for developing staff capability
- strengthening leadership and governance capability and
- understanding and mitigating the equalities impact of the changes ahead.
The pressures of working in research must be recognised and acted upon by all, from funders, to leaders of research and to heads of universities and institutions.”
Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome
The largest ever survey on research culture by the Wellcome Trust, which was published in January 2020, showed that researchers are passionate and justifiably proud of their work but have concerns about job security and a research culture which in some cases leads to unhealthy competition, bullying and harassment, and mental health issues. A disconnect between researchers’ perception of their management skills and their abilities in practice was also revealed with 80% of researchers who manage people saying they have the knowledge and skills to manage a diverse team, but only 48% have received training.
The Government also published this year its Research and Development Roadmap, setting out a long-term vision to unlock the power of science, research and innovation. Within its 60 pages, the Roadmap describes the commitment to improving research culture by,
“…work[ing] with funders to set clear expectations of research organisations in supporting safe and open research cultures that lead to high integrity of research. This includes prevention strategies to tackle bullying and harassment.”
Acknowledging that improving equality, diversity and inclusion in research requires a “multi-faceted” approach, and by recognising that there are approximately just 7% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic managers, directors and senior officials in academic and non-academic higher education positions, the Roadmap states that UKRI and Government will,
“develop and launch bold initiatives to increase the participation, retention and promotion of a diversity of talent into R&D…to remove any barriers and dismantle any inequalities in the system that limit the ambitions, inclusion and participation of people from any background.”
Advance HE is running a free webinar on Thursday 17 September designed to help research institutes access support, resources and events across our portfolio of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Leadership, Management and Governance and Athena Swan.
Chaired by our Director of Membership and Accreditation, Kathryn Harrison-Graves, and with speakers including Head of Membership at Advance HE Melvyn Smith, Head of Athena SWAN Dani Glazzard and Senior Adviser Jessica Kitsell, the webinar will showcase the membership offer for research institutes and open a consultation on how Advance HE can further enhance the support needed to help shape the future of research.