The Valuing Voices for Equitable and Responsible Research project supports best practice in research and research culture.

Our main focus is the creation of a toolkit that will guide the development of responsible research and innovation. The toolkit has been co-produced by members of our research community, including practitioners, stakeholders and global partners.

Working together we have identified core principles of responsible and equitable research. The toolkit guides researchers through these core areas to ensure they are considered from the start of the research project. 

Contact us

Contact us to find out more about the launch of the toolkit or to get involved in the project.

Meet the Valuing Voices project team

Roisin Blackburn is the Project Officer for the Valuing Voices project. Roisin joined the University of York in 2023 working as Alcuin College Life Coordinator while finalising her Master of Research (MRes) Psychology degree. Her MRes involved an independent research project assessing how education, rather than therapy, is supportive to mental health recovery. Roisin previously worked as the Alumni Events Coordinator at the University of Leeds' Advancement team, with a specialism in large-scale global events. Prior to this, Roisin worked at York St. John University as the Converge Administrator and Student Volunteers Coordinator alongside her role as Research Assistant in the Converge Evaluation and Research Team (CERT) which consists of individuals with lived experience of mental ill health who utilise co-productive techniques to conduct bespoke research and evaluations of mental health services and community projects. Roisin is particularly excited about working in the Valuing Voices team as this aligns with her career goals of contributing positively to the field of research.

As a Research Development Manager Rebecca supports the health portfolio at the University of York. She is passionate about helping people and has years of experience working in both NHS and University environments. She started her career working in laboratories as a technician and progressed to a laboratory research fellow working on clinical trials. In 2017 Rebecca took the skills and knowledge she’d gained from working in those environments and applied it to research support and the development of applications. In the Valuing Voices project Rebecca will be bringing her significant experience of facilitation to assist in highlighting the developing toolkit, encouraging community participation in its ongoing refinement and its use in their research applications.

Richard Friend is the Project Lead for Valuing Voices at the University of York, and  Associate Professor in Human Geography and Environment in the Department of Environment and Geography. His research focuses on the governance dimensions of social and environmental change. Richard re-joined academia in 2016 after 20 years working as a development practitioner in SE Asia. Working at the interface of research, policy and practice he has taken roles as Director for NGOs, managing multi-country development programmes and as a consultant providing technical and strategic advice to international organisations, NGOs, governments, and donors. From 2021-20023 he served as the University Research Champion for Risk, Evidence and Decision-making in which capacity he led a process of consultation and dialogue on how to strengthen research culture to address impact, and strategic commitments to RRI, decolonisation and EDI. In doing so he built on a long-standing professional commitment to impactful and participatory research.

Graham Gill is the Research Associate on Valuing Voices. He completed his PhD in sociology in 2022 and immediately began to use the skills learned to help collect the data upon which Valuing Voices is based. In the early stages of the project, Graham and colleagues spoke with 34 academics to identify good research practice and barriers to this. They spoke with junior academics and professional services staff to develop the initial framework to benefit other researchers. He feels that the Valuing Voices project is a genuine opportunity to impart a good research culture and best practice in research.

Fleur is the Valuing Voices Project Manager. Fleur has managed a variety of research projects at the University of York for over ten years, supporting research in social policy, chemistry and telecommunications. In recent years, she has also been an active member of the growing PRISM community (Professional Research Investment Strategy Managers), which supports those in similar research project management roles and advocates for recognition from funders and institutions. Alongside the Valuing Voices project, Fleur will be the PRISMs Manager for the Faculty of Sciences, developing support systems for York PRISMs and ensuring that both academic and non-academic research team members have equal voices and recognition for their contributions.

David Kent is the Deputy Head (Research) in the Department of Biology and a member of the Centre for Blood Research within the York Biomedical Research Institute. His research focuses on blood stem cell biology and the development of blood cancers. David has a longstanding interest in improving the way that we communicate science and educate and train scientists, including launching The Black Hole and writing for the Signals blog on regenerative medicine. For Valuing Voices, David is leading projects around team equity with efforts focused on trialling new ways of sharing decision-making and credit in research projects across different career paths and stages. Find him on X, LinkedIn and ORCID.

Iain is the Research Environment and Development Team Leader for the Faculty of Sciences). For the Valuing Voices project he will be supporting the work to refine and test the toolkit through consultations with key stakeholders. This work will ensure the toolkit provides the material required to improve project design and ultimately project implementation but also provide the material that teams require for external funding applications. Iain's interest in research culture has broadened significantly over the years. He previously worked at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council where he became involved in various aspects of responsible research and innovation (RRI). Focused on EPSRC's AREA framework (anticipate, reflect, engage and act) he has considered RRI across many different engineering and physical sciences fields. However, he's found that RRI encompasses a much broader suite of topics and his interest in EDI, decolonising research, equity, ownership and other aspects has increased and he remains open to understanding the perspectives of others.

Megan McLoughlin is Head of the Building Research and Innovation Capacity Team, which is responsible for researcher development and facilitating and supporting a positive research culture at York. Within the Valuing Voices project Megan leads on training and communications, helping to embed the project within the partner universities and the wider higher education sector. She also helps to ensure internal structures at York support the aims of the project. Megan has been informed and inspired by the huge range of research culture projects which have been undertaken at the University in the past few years, and is excited about building on this grassroots and exploratory work to realise the ambitions of Valuing Voices.

Dr Zaynab Seedat is the Training and Resource Development Officer for the Valuing Voices project. Zaynab joined the University of York in 2018 as a PhD student, graduating in 2023 from the Department of English and Related Literature. Her research investigated Islamic terrorism within contemporary literature using an interdisciplinary postcolonial approach. During her time at the University, Zaynab worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, researcher developer for the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities, and project coordinator for York Graduate Research School, through which she has developed her knowledge of and interest in research culture and practises. 

A partnership project

Valuing Voices is a two-year project, funded by Wellcome, in partnership with colleagues from Mahidol University in Thailand.

Contact us

Contact us to find out more about the launch of the toolkit or to get involved in the project.