Why do you think a positive research culture is important?
I think positive research culture can help me and my colleagues to develop project ideas or research in a supportive and collaborative environment so that everyone thrives. A positive research culture would also encourage colleagues to be more open, learn from each other (as we all make mistakes sometimes) and share good practices. In a positive research culture, everyone will feel that they are valued for their contributions to different research activities.
What aspects of research culture are most important to you?
I think it is important to:
- establish a support system so that colleagues can support each other and boost morale;
- establish a positive research environment that allows open communication and transparency;
- ensure that funding bid success is not the only measurement of success;
- have teamwork and collaboration.
Can you give an example of an action you have taken to improve research culture?
I've been acting (both formally and informally) as a mentor to support ECRs via a range of different communication channels and mindful kindness across the university. For example, I find a small-step one-to-one open 'cafe/tea' discussion very effective. I normally give all my attention to listening to their concerns about research outputs, funding applications etc and share my own failure in order to build trust and respect.
What is something that you personally would like to do next to improve research culture?
I would like to promote interdisciplinary collaboration across the university. For example, I am planning to organise cross-departmental international workshops on building towards One Health - human, animal and environmental ecosystems by bringing together researchers from different fields, such as aquaculture, nutrition, health science, social science, and psychology to exchange ideas, knowledge and skills.
The aims of the workshop are to improve the assimilation and translation of international food-related research; to improve public health by using translation to alter food consumption behaviour; to reduce the likelihood of future pandemics related to food consumption, and secure a sustainable future through wildlife conservation. I will ensure ECRs develop their research leadership skills and assist mid-career researchers in developing research networks.