Agenda: Reimagine Research Culture Festival

Live panels and workshops 

Join leading researchers on 24 and 25 March 2021 to discuss how to build a positive and inclusive research culture. Learn about new approaches and hear what's already working.

Wednesday 24 March

Learning from others
10.00-11.00 (GMT)

Panellists explore how other organisations or sectors have built and benefitted from a positive working culture, sharing lessons for academic research culture. 

  • Chair: Beth Thompson, Wellcome 
  • Cilla Snowball, Women’s Business Council
  • Jon Elliott, AstraZeneca
  • Suraya Marshall, Air Commodore, RAF
  • Robyn Steward, Heart n Soul.  

Thursday 25 March

How can we better reward teamwork in research? 
10.00-11.00 (GMT)

For a long time, academia has emphasised individual achievement over teamwork and collegiality. We want to change that. Join our panel to explore ways of incentivising this culture shift. 

  • Chair: Ben Bleasdale, Wellcome 
  • Philippa Saunders, Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Heidi Johansen-Berg, University of Oxford
  • Jeroen Geurts, Dutch Research Council (NWO)
  • Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield
  • Dawn Edge, University of Manchester. 

Which changes are already making a difference to research culture? 
11.30-12.30 (GMT)

Join us to hear how some amazing initiatives and cross-sector partnerships are transforming research culture in the UK.  

  • Chair: Frances Downey, UKRI 
  • Marcus Munafò, University of Bristol
  • Lilian Hunt, EDIS
  • James Parry, UKRIO
  • Annette Bramley, N8 Research Partnership
  • Katherine Deane, University of East Anglia. 

How can we continually improve workplace culture? 
14.00-15.00 (GMT)

Building a positive and inclusive research culture is an ongoing process. Explore how experimental approaches to research can help drive this change forward.

  • Chair: James Wilsdon, University of Sheffield 
  • Candy Rowe, Newcastle University
  • Matthew Westmore, Health Research Authority
  • Diego Baptista, Wellcome
  • Anjali Shah, UK Research Staff Association. 

Join the conversation on Twitter

Share your experiences during the festival using the hashtag #ReimagineResearch(opens in a new tab).

Inspiring articles and pre-recorded talks 

Sign up for first access to articles and pre-recorded discussions, published between 22 and 26 March 2021.

Where should change start? A compilation of views from people across the research community, exploring where research culture originates and the tools we have to change it.  

  • Ben Britton, University of British Columbia 
  • De-Shaine Murray, Imperial College London  
  • Hetan Shah, British Academy  
  • Jane Thompson, University and College Union  
  • Karen Salt, UKRI. 

Café Culture: Senior leaders from UK research funders get together to discuss research culture, using one of Wellcome’s Café Culture kits. They share their personal reflections on building a better culture, contributing ideas alongside the hundreds of others who have used the kits to prompt a discussion.  

  • Host: Beth Thompson, Wellcome 
  • Jim Smith, Wellcome 
  • Ottoline Leyser, UKRI 
  • Dave Jones, NIHR 
  • Charles Swanton, Cancer Research UK. 

Putting change into action ourselves: Speakers explore the role of individuals and funders in perpetuating or disrupting the current research culture. 

  • Dan O’Connor, Wellcome
  • Megan Reitz, Ashridge Hult Executive Education. 

Contact us 

If you have any questions, email

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