How does research training contribute to your institutional research culture?
This is a frequently asked question and often comes up in discussion at conferences and with clients so here goes…..
Really good research training (see definitions below) can make a massive difference to the local research culture because:
- by providing research training tailored to staff and/or students’ needs (in terms of content, format and timeliness) organisations can demonstrate:
- care and respect for staff and students, as well as the endeavour of quality (i.e. ethical, reproducible and usable) scientific research more broadly;
- a genuine commitment to communicating and supporting responsible research practices and a good culture of care.
- worthwhile training (that is relevant, engaging and challenging) will:
- enhance the research, personal and professional skills of those attending;
- give or renew attendees confidence in their own ability to think critically and creatively, and encourage them to be challenging and innovative;
- develop role models to inspire others around them to reflect upon their own research conduct.
All of this matters because ‘culture’ is all about how we as humans think, act and most importantly interact. Ever since we were born each of us has been learning how to behave and conduct ourselves through the silent observation of others. The conduct of scientific research is no different. Thus we need to recognise that every day, every individual will be contributing to their local research culture simply by walking in through the door. This is not something that any one of us can opt-in, or opt-out of. Some individuals will choose to be more active in their cultural contribution than others, but even the most shy and quiet individuals will be contributing, whether they are conscious of it, or not.
So to summarise, really good research training is not just about enhancing the skills and research conduct of those individuals attending. A really good training workshop or course will provide attendees with the confidence to decide to change, as well as the tools and resources they need to support them to deliver change. By doing so the potential impact of really good training becomes amplified as attendees set about conducting their research and in so doing inspire their peers, colleagues and others working around them to reflect upon their own research conduct.
You can read more about CULTURE OF CARE HERE, or LEARNING TRENDS AND HOW THEY CAN CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR INSTITUTIONAL CULTURE HERE.