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Developing our Strategy

WMS Research Culture Roadmap

In 2023, staff and students at WMS worked together to share their ideas about what research culture meant to them and to develop a future vision for research culture at WMS. This informed the creation of the ‘WMS Research Culture Roadmap’ to chart the course for our ongoing Research Culture development. We hope that this roadmap will establish a framework in which we can all be committed to each other's success and that allows people to reach their full potential and enjoy their journey.

The inaugural roadmap (below) was showcased at an all staff event on the 19 July. The powerpoint and visuals can be found here.

What Does Research Culture Mean?

When asked to consider what research culture meant to our diverse community of staff and students, a broad range of concepts were seen as important in feeding a positive research culture where all could flourish and grow. ​

These included the importance of support systems, collaborative working, greater transparency and communication, and a more inclusive approach to reward and recognition which recognised both the diversity of teams and of output.​

Values Driven Research Culture

While there are pockets of great activity and initiatives at WMS which are really seeking to help promote an enhanced research culture, there are also some gaps which present opportunities to further enhance our research culture.​

WMS has defined a 'values-driven' research culture with three key themes:​

1. Valuing Our People​
2. Valuing Our Community and​
3. Valuing Our Research

​Within these three values are 6 sub-themes.

Valuing our People

This has two sub-themes which embrace both the importance of 'Wellbeing' and supporting the personal and professional development of all staff and students.

The centrality of 'Wellbeing' was to be promoted through the provision of safe, supported and inclusive research environments where wellbeing is valued and championed, thus enabling people and their ideas to flourish.

Career and talent development encompasses career aspirations and decision-making. We should highlight a diverse range of role models and should not limit it to those in senior leadership roles. Leadership and who made a ‘good’ role model has many guises.

Valuing our Community

This has one over-riding sub-theme: that of collegiality, citizenship and collaboration:

We are seeking to create a ‘community of excellence’ that supports, drives and motivates all towards reaching their full potential and delivering the best research, whilst also enjoying the journey! A positive, inclusive and respectful, or courteous, culture is central to this.

Valuing our Research

Here, three sub-themes are described:

Valuing the Research Process - recognises the importance of embedding clear and fair approaches for the way in which research is conducted, supported, recognised and rewarded.

Research Integrity - speaks to the conduct of rigorous and ethical research, essential to the production of high-quality research, and hence research excellence.

Open research - speaks to the importance of research visibility, impact and reach.

Our Future Vision

Through our WMS Roadmap, we are working with change leaders across WMS, the University and beyond, to instigate long-term change and to ensure growth in WMS research culture and in the quality and reach of our research - where people sow, nurture and flourish together.

We aim to:

-Provide a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all
-Nurture creativity and connectivity
-Recognise and reward diverse contributions to research
-Inspire people to do their best work, to embrace best practice, and deliver excellence in research
-Support colleagues in feeling fulfilled by the work that they do … and to enjoy the journey!