Discussion III: Interdisciplinarity and career progression.
Chaired by Jaideep Gupte (Director of Research, Strategy, Innovation Arts and Humanities Research Council, UKRI) with panellists Julie Morin (UKADR, NEREIDS), Jerry Phillips (Bristol University) and Richard Dawson (University of Newcastle and GCRF Water Security & Sustainable Development Hub).
Roundtable exercise 3: to discuss and explore the questions
What lessons are there for research programming to support interdisciplinary teams and to enable career progression, wellbeing; recruitment; time taken to write bids; post covid stress?
Followed by feeding back to the room one key recommendation for UKADR Researchers & Funders;
The Key recommendation from our table;
Do it once and do it right.
To reach this, we explored a number of aspects. Firstly diversity, equality and inclusion, ensuring it is not just a tick box exercise. To ensure we actually practise what we preach, within in our own organisations. Recommended reading on this from the table was; Dear White Women In International Development alongside the NHS Equality, diversity and inclusion - No more tick boxes resources and toolkit
Secondly, we discussed equity, in terms of the research partnerships. To what extent are we truly serving the end users, over the funders and our own research interests? How often has the research question come from a remote agenda from a far-removed context, from an internal top-down perspective? What invisible and inherent terms and conditions are being applied to the giving of research and innovation? Can we truly claim fair, just, equal participatory research designed to meet the needs of the communities we serve, and not remote investors?
With that second point in mind, we discussed the extent to which the question is genuinely asked – who needs help and how can we help? AND - are the resources to do so, given fairly and equitably. Instead, more often we find as above, short-term return on investment, research impact, KPI’s and time critical, under resourcing constraints limit the efficacy, to achieve true equitable sustainable value.
Research outputs are constrained and limited. The most typical constraint cited being time. The recommendation for that is; do it once and do it right. Build in the time necessary to enable the lead time to undertake best practise. To ensure, long-term, sustainable efficacy and value for money in new metrics, that go beyond traditional KPI’s. This then enables true contextualisation, agility, flexibility, diversity, inclusion and equality. Which ultimately facilitates better knowledge outputs and research efficacy, with more rigorous and robust research to deliver long-term value.