UKRI welcomes government’s R&D People and Culture Strategy

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UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has welcomed the government’s Research and Development People and Culture Strategy, which has been published today.

The strategy seeks to create a more inclusive, dynamic, productive and sustainable research and development sector in the UK, in which a diversity of people and ideas thrive. It was published today alongside the government’s Innovation Strategy.

A call to action

People are at the heart of research and innovation. This strategy sets out a vision for attracting, retaining, developing and valuing the full diversity of people needed for an inclusive, vibrant research and innovation system that can fuel the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.

In her foreword, Science Minister Amanda Solloway describes the strategy as a ‘call to action’. Building on work by people and institutions across the sector, the strategy sets out a step-by-step approach to foster the research and innovation culture needed.

UKRI is developing an ambitious programme of work to support the delivery of the strategy, working collaboratively with partners to drive forward lasting change.

First steps

Among the near-term actions set out in the strategy, UKRI will work to

  • create a good practice exchange to develop, test and evaluate ideas to improve culture sourced from the community, bringing together people from across the sector to work creatively
  • launch a consultation on a new deal for post-graduate research students later this year, seeking input on funding, access, models and career routes
  • pilot experimental approaches to public dialogue and community-led research and innovation
  • co-design with partners a joined-up talent offer, open to a diversity of people across all career stages, connecting sectors, disciplines and working cultures.

A full list of commitments are included in the strategy.

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said:

Today the government has shown that it is firmly committed to supporting the full range of the people who make up the UK’s outstanding research and innovation system.

UKRI fully embraces to the minister’s call to action, and will use all the opportunities we have to foster the inclusive and supportive research and innovation culture needed for success.

Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, has been appointed as UKRI’s people and culture champion. She will provide senior leadership on the range of policy themes covered by the strategy.

Professor Welham commented:

I am delighted to be appointed as champion for the broad range of activities we are delivering in this area just as the government’s People and Culture Strategy is published.  I look forward to working across UKRI and with our many partners to deliver meaningful system-wide change.

I am keen that we should take an holistic approach so that we have a coherent response to the many challenges and opportunities within the research and innovation system.

Jobs that change the world

Amongst the changes that the strategy is seeking to bring about is encouraging great leadership skills at all levels, enabling a positive and inclusive culture.

Recently, UKRI launched ‘101 jobs that Change the World’ to highlight some of the many roles that contribute to the success of the research and innovation system.

Find out more about 101 Jobs that Change the World on our dedicated webpage.

Further information

On 29 July, Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, will host a sector-wide event to mark the launch of the P&D Strategy.

Top image: Credit: Alessandro Biascioli / Getty Images

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