Major funding boost for UK’s open research agenda
The University of Manchester is one of 18 institutional members of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) receiving significant funding to drive uptake of open research practices across the sector, furthering the UK’s position at the forefront of rigorous and reproducible research.
The UKRN project “Growing and Embedding Open Research in Institutional Practice and Culture” is worth £8.5M over five years and includes £4.5M from the Research England Development (RED) Fund.
Open research ensures transparency across the research lifecycle, promoting rigour, reproducibility, and public trust in research. The benefits of open research practices for improving the quality and integrity of research have been widely documented, and are recognised by the UK Government R&D Roadmap as contributing to improving the culture of research.
The project represents a major strategic investment by Research England that is intended to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the open research agenda and continues to generate globally leading research of the highest quality. It builds on the recent announcement by the Science Minister regarding UKRI’s new open access policy.
This funding will drive uptake of open research practices across the UK, through the delivery of training and evaluation of its impact. Initially the project will be delivered across institutions that are part of the UK Reproducibility Network. The network is expected to grow over the five years of the award, making training and material available more widely across the sector.
David Sweeney, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “We know that increasing the transparency of the research process supports higher standards of research integrity, and drives up the quality and reach of research. Research England has supported the UK Reproducibility Network since its inception. We are delighted to fund this project, which will enable the network to scale up its activities, and accelerate the uptake of open research practices across the sector.”
Dr Andrew Stewart, Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, Co-Lead of the UKRN project, and Institutional Lead for Open and Reproducible Research at the University of Manchester, said:
“This funding is excellent news for the UK Reproducibility Network, the University of Manchester, and the wider sector. The amount of funding awarded demonstrates the strategic importance placed by Research England on openness, transparency, and reproducibility in research practices. I am delighted the University of Manchester is centrally involved in this project and I look forward to working with other UKRN Institutional Leads to help bring about the wider adoption of open and transparent research practices across the sector.”
Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research at the University of Manchester, said: “I am delighted that Research England has agreed to fund this important UKRN project and that the University of Manchester is centrally involved. Extending and embedding Open Research practices and culture across our University is one of the priorities in our strategic plan and this project will accelerate our progress and help us to realise our ambition.