Do we need to transform Oxford's research cultures?

Culture is a troublesome concept. As Raymond Williams noted, it is one of the ‘two or three most complicated words in the English language’. All institutions – including universities – create their own ‘particular ways of life’, and these can range from the supportive to the exploitative. Many aspire to making institutional cultures more explicit, naming their existing strengths and at the same time identifying aspects that need to be transformed. This explains the growing policy interest in ‘research cultures’ amongst funders and policy actors. In this Kellogg roundtable, we bring together three speakers to reflect on Oxford’s diverse research cultures, the way they shape the lived experiences of staff and students, and how they might be changed.

Xin Xu is departmental lecturer and Katherine Collins is an honorary fellow in the University’s Department of Education. Tanita Casci is director of Oxford’s Research Strategy and Policy unit.