Exploring Research Culture and Assessment: A Comprehensive Course for PhD Students

Course on Research Culture for PhD students


11/10/20231 min read

On November 10th, 2023, the UNESCO Chair on Science and Innovation Policies organized a pivotal course tailored for PhD students, focusing on the multifaceted topics of research culture, research assessment and research integrity.

Understanding Research Culture

The course commenced with an exploration of research culture, a concept fundamental to the scientific community. Research culture encompasses the values, behaviors, and norms that influence how research is conducted and perceived. Discussions highlighted the importance of fostering a positive research culture to enhance collaboration, innovation, and ethical standards. Participants examined the implications of research culture on their work, emphasizing its impact on productivity and well-being.

Current Practices and Challenges in Research Assessment

Next, the course addressed the intricacies of research assessment. Current practices in evaluating research often face criticism for being overly reliant on quantitative metrics, such as citation counts and journal impact factors. These metrics, while useful, may not fully capture the quality and societal impact of research. PhD students were introduced to the evolving landscape of research assessment, exploring alternative approaches that prioritize a more holistic evaluation of research contributions.

Upholding Research Integrity

The final segment of the course focused on research integrity, a cornerstone of credible and trustworthy science. Participants engaged in discussions on the challenges of maintaining high standards of integrity amidst pressures to publish and secure funding.

Impact and Takeaways

The course provided a platform for PhD students to reflect on their own experiences and perceptions of research culture. By addressing the challenges and evolving practices in research assessment and emphasizing the critical role of integrity, the UNESCO Chair on Science and Innovation Policies wishes to empower participants with knowledge and strategies to navigate the complexities of their academic journeys.

As the landscape of scientific research continues to evolve, such initiatives are essential in preparing the next generation of researchers to uphold the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

The course was held by Professor Adrian Curaj, Chair holder and Ioana Spanache, PhD, as invited guest speaker.