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Our Team

Professor Sotaro Kita (he/him)
Director of the National Centre for Research Culture

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Kita is the Director of the National Centre for Research Culture, and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Research), and a Professor in Psychology. Kita leads on research culture, and is passionate about creating research environments in which researchers feel included and valued, where they can be creative and productive. Kita has a vast experience in research and research culture and is actively working in the field of equity, diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing.

Research profile and publications.

Vicky Strudwick (she/her)
Head of Research Culture Partnerships

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Vicky is Head of Research Culture Partnerships within the National Centre for Research Culture (NCRC) at Warwick and leads on developing partnerships and collaborations with universities, research organisations, industry, funders and publishers in the UK and beyond. Specific projects within her portfolio include the development of a national network of Research Culture leads at UK universities, and the implementation of a pilot multi-level positive action programme for Black researcher career development. With substantial experience of enabling international research collaboration, she has a keen interest in bringing together voices from different national, disciplinary and organisational contexts to enhance global research culture.

Marie Sams (she/her)
Head of National Centre for Research Culture

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Marie is the Head of the National Centre for Research Culture, and leads on the management of the Centre, including the development of the NCRC strategy, operationalising its workstreams, and raising the visibility of research culture nationally. Projects within her portfolio include the development of a national research culture conversation series, and the implementation of a pilot project aiming to improve the wellbeing of early career researchers. Marie has 24+ years of experience in the higher education sector in professional service and teaching roles, and also has a keen interest in the challenges and opportunities to support more women into leadership in higher education, which is the focus of her Doctorate in Business Administration.

Dr Rika Nair (she/her)
Research Culture Manager

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Although her background is in medical research (Microbiology PhD, Imperial College London), Rika has since translated her experience to supporting different disciplines and all stages of the research project cycle. Her transition to a research-enabling role came with an exploration of what is meant by research identities and culture. In a 2013 column published in Nature, Rika proposed that good research culture includes a wide network of roles that enable and even amplify excellence. A decade later, her experience as a research enabler (project management, bid writing, research development) has supported the view that it takes a diversity of roles to nurture thriving research. Rika’s current role is as Research Culture Manager at the University of Warwick, where her main responsibilities include developing and managing institutional research culture initiatives, including managing administrative support for the newly launched Interdisciplinary Research Spotlights. She also curates a Research Culture Knowledge Exchange LinkedIn group, and is the Network Lead for the Research Culture Enablers Network.