Research culture at Oxford

Oxford’s research culture is united around three interconnected priorities: conducting research to the highest standards of rigour, recognising the different skills and roles that contribute to research and innovation, and supporting the career aspirations of our colleagues.

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Assessing research fairly and inclusively, in an equitable working environment, and supporting members of the research and innovation community in their career aspirations

Research Practice

Enabling researchers to conduct reliable, reproducible, and transparent research and innovation, and thus ensure that Oxford research is trusted as meeting the highest standards of academic rigour

Valuing Contributions

Recognising a diversity of talents, skills, and outputs by valuing a broader range of contributions to excellence in research and innovation.


Oxford’s research culture programme is led by the PVC-Research, Patrick Grant, working in partnership with dedicated Academic Leads and with the wider research leadership of Divisions, Departments, and Faculties.

The institutional culture programme is overseen by the University’s Research and Innovation Committee, and is delivered by a team of academic and professional services colleagues.

What are we working on?

Progressing the Action Plan for the Researcher Development Concordat

In April 2022, the University published a three-year action plan to fulfil its commitments as a signatory to The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. Highlights include regular Career Development Reviews, entitlement to 10 days/year for professional development, enhancing management and leadership skills among Principal Investigators and others with responsibilities for researchers, and progressing mechanisms towards greater contract stability wherever possible. See this page for more information and to read the year 1 report published in May 2023 . The most recent report, published in June 2024, can be found here

Research Practice

To support researchers to follow best practice in planning, executing, and reporting research we are integrating activities across Oxford that are directly relevant to the practice of research and its improvement, such as open access, research data management, research integrity and ethics, reproducible and transparent research, responsible research and innovation, and research impact. A new Research Practice Group is driving this integration, to create greater efficiency at institutional level and a clearer journey for researchers.

For more information, please contact: [email protected]

Equity and Inclusivity in Research Funding

The Equity and inclusivity in research funding project was initiated by Research Services to identify the barriers to securing research funding experienced by researchers in marginalised groups and to propose solutions.

Narrative CVs

The narrative CV — also known as a résumé for researchers — is designed to showcase a wider range of skills and experience than a traditional academic CV. We collaborated with a group of research support professionals and user testers across Oxford to create guidance that gives prompts and hints to assist researchers to complete narrative CV elements of funding applications. Please see this page for information and resources for researchers and research support teams.

Researcher-driven leadership development 

Starting in 1 March 2024, the University of Oxford will be embarking on an exciting new programme to design, deploy and disseminate an institution-wide leadership programme that is tailored to the situations and barriers encountered by researchers. The programme is funded by a Wellcome Institutional Funding for Research Culture award.

Responsible and fair research assessment

The University of Oxford became a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) in 2018, and is committed to implementing the core principles as part of a fair and responsible approach for research assessment.

Outputs in the implementation of DORA include:

Valuing a broader range of contributions

A project is underway to recommend a set of proposals to improve the career paths, workload and reward and recognition of academic and research staff. Led by the PVC (People and Digital), Anne Trefethen, the aim of the project is to create a framework that will allow recognition for teaching, research and innovation, academic leadership and good citizenship. The project has a Steering Group comprising divisional representation, collegiate representation and the PVCs for Education and Research. The project team brings together expertise from across HR, Research Services, the Academic Administration Division, and academic departments. For further information, visit the Academic Career and Reward Framework webpage or read Anne’s blog.

Find out more

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