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Postdoc Academy


Research culture describes the environment in which research happens, and includes the norms in behaviours, expectations, attitudes and values of our research communities.

At the University of Cambridge, we want our research culture to be the very best it can be, because we know that a good culture will attract the best researchers, and in looking after those researchers, we empower them to do their best work. 

We acknowledge that the research culture in Cambridge is not perfect. Some of the challenges we face are specific to our own institution, and many are complex, systemic issues found in research communities across the world. 

The following action plan sets out our ambitions for research culture at Cambridge, and how we will work towards achieving these over the coming years.

As a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat, we have already made a commitment to creating a healthy and supportive research culture at Cambridge.

This plan incorporates our proposed actions for meeting our Concordat obligations, and connects them with several other agendas relating to research culture, creating a comprehensive approach to drive change right across our institution.


Download our Research Culture Institutional Action Plan.


Listen to our podcast with members of the University's Reseach Culture Working Group (September 2020):


Listen to our podcast with the winners of the first Department of Sociology Postdoc Awards (December 2021):



Our ambitions

The following six statements reflect our overall ambitions for the future of research culture at the University of Cambridge. 

We will offer a world-class environment in which to do research and teaching, which embodies an open and collaborative, outward-looking culture, and which attracts and supports talented researchers from across the globe.

We will reward research teams as well as individuals, viewing success not just in terms of advancing academic knowledge and tackling global challenges, but in a way that recognises all contributions to the research endeavour, particularly those which uphold a positive research culture. 

We value all of our researchers, and will provide them with an inclusive, transparent, safe and supportive environment, with zero tolerance of inappropriate behaviour.

We acknowledge that many of our researchers aim to achieve research independence and lead their own teams, while others may have different aspirations, and we will manage and support them to achieve their own individual goals. 

Professional development will be an integral part of all researchers’ roles. We will provide a comprehensive range of opportunities to support researchers in their current role, as well as equipping them to make an impact throughout their career.

With colleagues from across the sector, we will collectively drive positive change to research culture, working closely with funders and other HEIs, industry partners and other external networks, and will not be deterred by the complexity of the challenges this will entail.