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Advance HE collaborates with University of Liverpool and AHRC to develop new model for more inclusive and diverse team-based working in research

21 Jun 2023 | Advance HE A new project team will bring together colleagues from across higher education institutions and a range of funding organisations to actively engage and provide evidence that will help establish criteria for best practice in research team-based working.

Advance HE is partnering with the University of Liverpool and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) on a new project funded by Research England.  

There is an ongoing drive for more inclusivity in team-led research across the HE sector, accompanied by a demand for more diversity in leadership voices. This project aims to develop a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with team-based research. The aim is to overcome the limitations imposed by existing models and foster an environment that encourages a wider range of perspectives and experiences. 

A new Thrive project team will bring together colleagues from across higher education institutions and a range of funding organisations to actively engage and provide evidence that will help establish criteria for best practice in team-based working. 

In partnership with colleagues from Advance HE and AHRC, the project is being led by Professor Georgina Endfield, Professor Antony Hollander, Dr Sarah Jackson, Dr Jane Rees and Dr James Howard from the University of Liverpool. It will result in the co-development of a new convenor model that will be trialled through a pilot funding call. 

Fiona Lennoxsmith, Lead Consultant Leadership, Organisational Development and Research at Advance HE, said:  

“We are delighted to be collaborating with University of Liverpool and AHRC on this critical research to develop a base of evidence that will guide research teams and organisations towards new and beneficial models of working.   

“This project aligns well with Advance HE’s vision to support inclusive, sustainable and high-performing systems and providers in higher education, and our focus on supporting our members in the area of research leadership development, research capacity and best practice for research culture.” 

Professor Georgina Endfield said: “There is a clear drive across the sector to develop a more positive, inclusive and respectful culture. We are delighted to be working with AHRC and Advance HE, spearheading the drive for more inclusive team-led research models across the sector,” 

The project team will engage with a range of funders throughout the different stages of the project to encourage sharing of learning emerging from this pilot. 

AHRC Executive Chair, Professor Christopher Smith, said: 

“This project will make an important contribution to meeting UKRI’s ambitions to support a positive research culture on which everyone can thrive. 

“But it also signals the way arts and humanities colleagues are embracing and innovating models of team research, transforming the disciplines and opening new horizons for impact and the potential for imagination and change.” 

This work is being funded by Research England, who aim to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in the higher education sector.  

Director of Research at Research England, Steven Hill, said; 

“The project will help us to test and evaluate the potential benefits of moving away from the PI-led model and assess the opportunities for novel research leadership models. 

“It forms part of a wider portfolio of work to explore how we can widen opportunities, enable peer support and professional development, and support researchers to develop leadership skills and experience.” 

The aim is that a new approach can support a more inclusive and collaborative leadership culture where there is greater potential to increase the diversity of leadership voices, improve decision-making, enhance research excellence and provide a solid platform for a more positive research environment. 

Find out more about our existing support for research leadership, our work to enhance inclusive institutions and our support for research culture.


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