What will UK Research Culture look like in 2035? How will researchers communicate their work, be assessed and what will career structures look like? And how do we ensure this future Research Culture continues to support the research excellence for which the UK is renowned?

View of the Earth's atmosphere from space

We have already run two scoping Research Culture events – the first with Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and the second with the Royal Society’s Industry Fellows.

The ECR Research Culture conference

Chaired by Ottoline Leyser FRS, and including a panel discussion with Anne-Marie Coriat (Wellcome Trust), Tom Welton (Imperial College London) and Philip Campbell (Nature), this one day conference was attended by 100 ECRs.

Attendees had the opportunity to discuss in depth a range of issues to do with Research Culture (see the Scriberia overview of the day). They were then invited to design a new system, some of the ideas they had were:

  • To develop new assessment metrics. These should be holistic measures that recognise all the professional activities a researcher undertakes;
  • To give time and resource to researchers to develop skills and experience for jobs outside academic research environment; and
  • To use modern communication technology to reimagine a more flexible and transparent system of scientific publishing and peer-review.

The Industry Fellows workshop

The Industry Fellows workshop focused specifically on the future of career transitions, into and out of academic science. The overarching theme to emerge from the session was that academia and industry have two distinct and different research cultures which, in a multitude of ways, inhibit mobility between the sectors.

Ideas on how to facilitate moving between industry (and other sectors) and academia in the future included:

  • To increase contact and familiarity between academic and industrial scientists, starting early in the undergraduate education process and continuing throughout researchers’ careers e.g. through sabbaticals;
  • To create different funding models for industry-academic collaborations with increased flexibility and running for longer time periods; and
  • To standardise across both sectors the reporting of research outcomes and innovation in an open and transparent way.

Do you want to get involved?

Above are just some of the early findings of our look into Research Culture. If you want to get involved in this work contact us and we will send you the details of the workshops when they are confirmed.

Contact: Dr Frances Downey (frances.downey@royalsociety.org)


  • Dr Frances Downey

    Dr Frances Downey