Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

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Professor wins Royal Society prize for changing research culture

Professor Mark Reed was awarded a prize by the Royal Society this week for his work on research impact.

The prize was given at the culmination of two years of work by the SocietyThey explored how the UK can promote cultural conditions that best enable excellent research and researchers, here and elsewhere, to flourish in the future.

The prize was given at the Royal Society conference, Research Culture: Changing Expectations, on 29 October 2018.

Team leader 

Prof Reed led one of six teams who pitched to a panel of judges. These included Rebecca Endean (Director of Strategy for UK Research and Innovation), Dr Steven Hill (Director of Research at Research England) and Dr Magdalena Skipper (Chief Editor at Nature).

Building on his research on impact (the benefits society gets from the research), the team pitched a platform to bring researchers in contact with professionals with important questions.

Spin-out company

This platform integrated evidence, training and guidance developed by his spin-out company, Fast Track Impact.

The company has trained almost 5,000 researchers from more than 200 institutions in 55 countries during the past three years. It's helped change how researchers generate and share knowledge so they can change the world.

Impact significant to research culture

Prof Reed said: “Love it or hate it, research impact is now a significant part of UK research culture.

"We need to think more about how to stimulate healthy research cultures that motivate and inspire people to engage with the outside world for a diversity of reasons, rather than just extrinsically incentivising researchers with funding and promotion.

"When impact is at the heart of a research culture, there are always fresh challenges and ideas, and teams of people who care deeply about what they do.” 

The Royal Society is the oldest scientific institution in the world. With Issac Newton as their president, they published the first ever scientific journal and they have led changes in research culture globally over the centuries. 

Professor Mark Reed
Professor Mark Reed

published on: 30 October 2018