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University of York to lead project that puts teamwork at the heart of research culture

Posted on 15 December 2023

The University of York and Mahidol University in Thailand are collaborating on a major project which will identify ways of supporting fair and responsible research processes and outcomes.

Central Hall, University of YorkThe project involves collaboration with several international partners

Valuing Voices for Equitable and Responsible Research is a two-year project which aims to co-produce and roll out a ‘dynamic framework’ that guides users through a set of principles, such as how to better engage with those in more junior or non-academic roles, partners and beneficiaries in the Global South, and individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and disciplines. 

Evaluation and learning

The framework will outline 10 core principles to address barriers to positive research culture. It will put teamwork at the heart of the research process and encourage continuous reflection, evaluation and learning from both success and failure.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery, the project’s Principal Investigator, said: “As a university for public good we are committed to the development of an institutional culture that promotes ambition, collective purpose, courage and the continued improvement of all that we do, amplifying and learning from communities where positive research culture flourishes.

“The project will value the voices of all involved in the research endeavour, from research team members to co-production partners, in order to facilitate long-term institutional change.”

The project has been funded by a Wellcome Trust grant of almost £1m and involves collaboration with several international partners.

Real-world impacts

Professor Matthias Ruth, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research at the University, added: “Hierarchies and power dynamics within research environments impose structures and  assumptions on interactions across University research activities, often limiting opportunities for genuinely exploratory collaboration and achieving the best real-world impacts.

“Our ultimate goal is to achieve a university research culture that supports equitable relationships within and across research communities, between academia and the public, and delivers improved research quality and impact. “ 

Dr Richard Friend from York’s Department of Environment and Geography, said: “This project will help us plan and conduct our research so that it is more strategic in delivering impact, and that we will do so in equitable teams across researchers, support staff, partners and potential beneficiaries.”

Progress and innovation

Nopraenue Sajjarax Dhirathiti, from Mahidol University in Thailand, said: “The pursuit of knowledge through university research is indispensable for progress and innovation.

“At Mahidol University we believe that its true potential is realised through effective knowledge translation, which ensures that the insights gained from research are translated into tangible benefits for communities and the society we are in.”

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