Please note The University of Edinburgh Good Research Practice Week has been postponed and will run from 14-18 November 2022.
For more information please see our webpages
In this blog post, Malcolm Macleod, Academic Lead for Research Improvement and Research Integrity, shares news about how to nominate for a University of Edinburgh Good Research Practice Award.
What are Good Research Practice Awards?
These awards are intended to recognise and celebrate contributions that go beyond a research project or theme.
With these awards, we want to take a different approach to the conventional recognition of academic contribution, of grants applied for and awarded, of papers published and of research impact, to recognise that what people do between those lines can make a major contribution to our efforts at an institution, and can be very important in enabling others within our institution to be able to do their best research.
Research is rarely done by individuals, but by teams, working together, made up of individuals with different roles and different contributions to make. There’s a large surrounding ecosystem and infrastructure, including the contributions that researchers make to the general good rather than to their own specific projects – what you might call “Good Research Citizenship”. This includes peer review of grant applications and manuscript submissions, and mentoring and coaching of junior and senior colleagues, and contributions to our research culture, whether that’s the influence you have on others through the way you go about your work, or contributions to institution wide efforts on equity and diversity and inclusion, or public understanding of science, or connecting the research we do inside the university with the local community and with the outside world.
The awards have been set up as part of our efforts to improve not just the research we do, but the way we do research; and are being organised by a University-wide group. The awards are part of ‘Good Research Practice’ week, running from 26 May to 1 June, with a range of events from co-creation workshops for research improvement projects through to the Awards evening.
Nominations are invited in 4 categories
In this first year we have identified four areas in particular where we think it is important to acknowledge these contributions.
In responsible research and innovation, where we recognise researchers who have made substantial efforts to engage local publics in their work, or to co-create research with and for relevant communities whether geographical or communities of practise, or more global research which works with for instance with groups in the global South in pursuit for instance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In open research, where we recognise that open access to research publications is important, and that we already perform well here – over 88% of our outputs are open access. But open research isn’t just about publications, but also protocols, and data, and code, and study materials – and making these available so these research artefacts are secure in the future.
In disrupting the status quo, where we want to recognise those who can see a different way of doing things, and can convince others to be open to the possibility of change.
In good research citizenship, through contributions large or small.
Who can be nominated and how do I nominate?
Any University of Edinburgh staff member or student can be nominated, either as an individual or as part of a team and either by themselves or by others. The process is short – all we need is the name of the individual or team being nominated, an email contact address, the award for which they are being nominated, and up to 400 words describing their contribution.
Deadline for nominations is 20 May 2022.
When will winners be announced?
Nominations will be considered by a panel including senior members of the University alongside others including research professionals and early career researchers. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to an awards event to be held on 1st June 2022, where the awards will be presented by Professor Marcus Munafo, leader of the UK Reproducibility Network.
What do we mean by ‘Good Research Practice’?
High quality research relies on the coming together of several different things:
Firstly, there’s the inspiration of imagining, of envisaging a different set of explanations for the world as we experience it.
Secondly, having the research skills to be able to construct a project which is able to explore these possibilities, or to construct experiments to test these ideas.
Finally, and the focus of these awards, there’s the way in which that research is actually done, the design and conduct and analysis and reporting, making sure that we meet the ethical and governance requirements appropriate for the work that we are doing, and that we proceed in a way which is sensitive to the possible effect of our research not just on those directly involved, but more broadly.
We look forward to receiving nominations and celebrating these important contributions.