How does research training & support influence your institutional research culture?
In this Insights Blog we are going to discuss how research training & support influences your research culture.
One answers lies in the fact that good research training and support programmes are tailored to the needs of all staff and students’ (in terms of content, format and timeliness), and thus:
- demonstrate care and respect for staff and students by investing time and resources to identify and provide the support individuals need;
- acknowledge that quality research* does not happen by chance - it requires good planning, conduct, analysis and communication;
- rewards individuals who are genuinely interested in developing and implementing good practice, want to improve their research conduct and can provide a positive example to peers and colleagues.
*quality research to my mind is ethical, reproducible, relevant and makes a valuable addition to the scientific record.
For a research training and support programme to be good requires it to be fit for purpose and impactful, or in other words relevant, engaging, challenging and in some measure inspiring. Such a programme will:
- enhance the research, personal and/or professional skills of those attending (check out the Vitae Researcher Development Framework for more detail on the knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers);
- give or renew participants confidence in their own ability to think critically and creatively, and encourage them to be challenging and innovative;
- provide direct access to experts and/or individuals passionate about what they do, with experience to share and willing to engage in honest discussions regarding research culture and its impact on conduct.
So why does getting it right matter so much?
Well because ‘culture’ is all about how we as humans think, how we act and most importantly it is about how we interact. Since we were born each of us has been learning how to conduct ourselves in accordance with local cultures through the silent observation of others. The conduct of scientific research is no different. Thus, to understand how good research training and support influences institutional research cultures we need to recognise a simple fact....
Every day, every individual within your institute is contributing to the research culture simply by entering the building.
This is not something that any of us can opt-in, or opt-out of depending on our mood, it is a given. Thus good training and support programmes will cater for the all staff and students irrespective of their position within the organisation. The aim is to ensure that every individual understands the contribution they and others around them are expected to make to the institutional research culture, as well as how the training and support programme can help them to achieve this.
Good research training and support programmes are not just about keeping up to date with good practice and technical developments. They give individuals the opportunity to identify what they could do differently and develop the self-confidence they need to decide to change. Only then will individuals access and utilise the tools and resources that exist to support them to deliver change. Having made a change the impact on institutional culture begins to be amplified as individuals put into practice what they have learnt. In so doing they become role models and mentors to inspire others working around them to review and 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.
You may also be interested to watch our FREE Guide to developing a culture of integrity webinar HERE.
For more information about the training courses and workshops that Responsible Research in Practice provide visit our Training Services page. If you would like to discuss specific requirements for RESEARCH TRAINING that then please CONTACT US HERE.