Research culture

There’s more to research than good ideas. It’s crucial the research environment brings out the best in everyone. Do your work and life feel balanced? Are your teams inclusive? Are you incentivised to do better research? These things matter, not just for the individual researcher, but for the whole research system and its benefits for patients, the public and wider society.

At the Academy we are committed to helping improve the UK’s research culture, and embedding diversity is a priority for our President. We want to ensure:

  • UK research is open and accessible to everyone who wants to work in it
  • A career in UK research can be healthy and fulfilling as well as successful
  • The UK’s research output is of the highest quality

Achieving this requires improvements in our own processes – for example how we fund grants and collect data – as well as the external environment we operate in, from championing the value of team science to normalising work-life balance.

Read a summary of our most recent annual diversity report and find out more below about our work to help improve the UK’s research culture.

We also engage with Government strategies and initiatives which aim to improve the UK's research culture. Read our response to the Government's People and Culture Strategy to find out more.

Grants, programmes & events

The Academy offers a portfolio of funding schemes and career development programmes aimed at early- to mid-career researchers. We want to fund but also support and inspire the next generation of biomedical and health researchers, through: grant schemes; mentoring; leadership training; free events on topics like teamwork, recognition, perfectionism and leadership; and policy work.

 
COVID-19 Career Support Space

We know that virtually all researchers will have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way, sometimes at critical points in their careers. We convened an Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Paul Stewart FMedSci, to address the range of topics that are emerging as the pandemic develops. Visit our COVID-19 Career Support Space for personal stories, videos, resources and guidance on topics from loneliness and isolation to leading a remote team. 

 
Media training

Motivated by the lack of female experts in the news, we developed a unique, hands-on training programme to increase gender balance in the media. Since 2014 this work has helped hundreds of female scientists engage with high profile broadcast and print media outlets, many for the first time. In 2018 we were awarded the Royal Society's biannual Athena Prize celebrating those who have contributed most to the advancement of diversity within their scientific communities for this work.