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Research Culture in St. Andrews

Main team: Julie Harris (jh81 @, Bashar Albaghli; Anne-Marie Craig; Ruth Woodfield.

Consultative team: Natalie Adamson; ; Kate Cross; Katie Eagleton; Ineke De Moortel; Nicki Hitchcott; Richard Malham; Andy Smith

External partners: Tanita Casci (Glasgow) Lyndsay Fletcher (Glasgow), Sabina Siebert (Glasgow)

The Research Culture agenda is gaining global prominence. St Andrews is setting up new processes for policy and practice in this area, including the establishment of a University Research Culture Group. As the Wellcome Trust has recently suggested, changes to our research practice and culture caused by Covid-19 may deliver challenges for this agenda, especially around inequalities, but may also provide opportunities for rethinking the ways in which we conduct and support University research. The Research Culture team has undertaken a piece of research that will lay the foundations for improving research culture at St Andrews. In spring 2021 we conducted a University-wide survey on research culture.

Findings from previous research culture studies and the University of Glasgow Lab for Academic Culture all point to the need to understand the internal and external landscapes of research culture in individual and localised contexts. To do this we collected both quantitative and qualitative data from the same participants, offering insight into how aspects of research culture impacts groups and individuals across the University. We directed the survey towards a broad range of staff and postgraduate research students, aiming to include anyone in the University who felt that their work contributed to the research effort. The response was as follows:  670 participants, with around 15% of those invited taking part, representing around 22% of those likely to have a direct interest in research.

The results of our survey are now out (Autumn 2021): Research Culture Survey Report 2021

The word cloud below suggests a flavour of how our community views our research culture.