In this blog post Professor Malcolm Macleod, Academic Lead for Research Improvement and Research Integrity at the University of Edinburgh, shares the results of the 2022 University of Edinburgh Good Research Practice Awards.
The University of Edinburgh Good Research Practice Awards recognised and celebrated contributions that provided leadership and acted as role models for good research practice. There were 95 nominations of 66 individuals or groups across 4 categories and the winners were announced at an awards evening on 18 November.
With these awards we wanted to take different approach to the conventional recognition of academic contribution, of grants applied for and awarded, of papers published and of research impact. We instead wanted to recognise that what people do between those lines can make a major contribution to our efforts as an institution, and can be very important in enabling others within our institution to be able to do their best research.
The 4 award categories were:
Good Research Citizenship Award
Good research citizenship can take many forms and is not limited to those in leadership and management roles or to “official” University activities. It can includes:
- contributions to formal and informal mentoring and support
- leading or participating in projects to improve research
- involvement in peer-led initiatives to increase awareness and provide training in good research practices
- involvement in peer-led initiatives to address issues of equity, diversity and inclusion
- increasing awareness and providing training in good research practices
- Promoting public and societal engagement with research processes
- Supporting and engendering flourishing and diverse research teams
- Actions which support greater inclusion in research activity of those who would not otherwise be able to contribute
- Commenting on drafts of applications, grants and papers, participating in practice interviews and practice presentations
- Encouraging reflection on how we do research and our research culture
- Peer review, internal and external grant awarding panels
- Promoting the public understanding of science
The Good Research Citizenship Award results
Responsible Research Award
With this award we were interested in recognising individuals or teams at the University of Edinburgh who have used their platform as researchers to create opportunities for involvement, dialogue, engagement and exchange with communities beyond the University of Edinburgh.
‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ occurs where researchers carefully consider the consequences of their research and how these align with society’s expectations, with the aim of pursuing research which is inclusive (including co-creation of research approaches), sustainable, and done both with and for society. Such research involves diverse stakeholders, encompasses multiple (and sometimes conflicting) value systems, has open and transparent processes and communications, and is adaptive to feedback and experience.
We believe that research, and research processes, can be enriched through public engagement – the involvement of external communities, in co-creation of research projects relevant to their particular circumstances or their involvement as citizen scientists, or when researchers demystify their work and their careers to engage others.
Responsible Research Award results
Open Research Award
Openness in research makes important contributions to participation, collaboration, dissemination, and reproducibility and includes:
- Openness in research designs (eg study protocols)
- Open access to publications
- Open availability of study materials (questionnaires, reagents, psychological tests)
- Open availability of study data such that it is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (“FAIR” data)
- Openness of research platforms, tools and software
- Openness of the conduct of research, both with scientific colleagues and with wider publics
- Openness of grant funding applications, of peer review processes and of research and researcher evaluations
With this award we were interested in research outputs and research projects which show openness across multiple dimensions.
Open Research Award results
Positive Disruptor Award
With this award, we were looking for individuals or teams who have improved our research practice, culture, or environment, by challenging the status quo.
As individuals and as an institution, we like to operate in familiar circumstances, and this can make us reluctant to embrace change. But disrupting our normal way of thinking about things can open up opportunities to do things differently, to do things better. Positive disruptors in research don’t just point to problems, but are able to see a different way of doing things, and to convince others to be open to the possibility of change. Key characteristics of being a positive disruptor include:
- Being able to influence and enthuse people
- Being prepared to be knocked back, and to keep going
- Not being put off when people challenge why you’re doing things
- Believing in a different future, and having the courage to propose different ways of doing things – willing to try, fail and learn
- Not just criticising, but proposing solutions
- Knowing where internal rules have some flexibility, and when you are overstepping a mark and will fail to carry your colleagues
- Knowing when to stop
Positive Disruptor Award results
Further information about the awards can be found online
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for their contributions!