Students walking on Calton Hill

Research Group Ethos

Our Responsibilities

  • We will be supportive and respectful of other staff, students and guests.
  • We will maximise open collaboration, share our knowledge and technical expertise, play to our individual strengths, recognise all contributions, and succeed as a team.
  • We will strive to create an environment that is inclusive and fosters diversity.
  • We will ensure compliance with the requirements of the University of Edinburgh and our funders.
  • We will aim to be driven both by curiosity and by enthusiasm to answer questions that will have an impact.
  • We will be rigorous in following safe working practices, and in recording and archiving data.
  • We will strive to bear our share of the load and deliver what we commit to within agreed timelines.
  • We will encourage transparency and regular conversation around project ownership and responsibilities, while working together to maximise the effectiveness of our efforts.
  • We will not be afraid to ask for help when problems arise, and to learn from every experience.
  • We will be receptive to the varying needs of others; being open, pragmatic and supportive.
  • We will work hard to present our research in a way that helps others to understand it, rather than tries to make us look clever.
  • We will always be respectful to those who show that they want to learn.
  • We will recognise the value of both breadth and depth of knowledge and will maximise the opportunities offered for bidirectional exchange of knowledge in meetings, seminars, conferences, research publications and public engagement.
  • We will remember that we are reflected in the way we treat those more junior than ourselves and will use positions of power to speak up for others, put our principles into practice, and make a positive difference.
  • We will recognise that respect is earned and strive to be worthy of it.


Our Expectations

  • We consider that we share a common goal to discover, inspire and make a difference, independent of our gender, national origin or colour.
  • We believe that we do our best research when we are happy and recognise that that can require flexibility in the way we work; optimised for both the individual and the team.
  • We expect to be judged by our efforts, effectiveness, initiative, creativity and results, rather than simply by hours spent in the laboratory or office.
  • We understand that sometimes our work may be intense and deadlines can be tough, but believe that this should be an exception, not the rule.
  • We recognise that space and time to reflect and think are an essential part of good research.
  • We are clear that downtime and holidays are important, and that our health and caring responsibilities always come first.
  • We understand that, as well as the thrill of discovery, science is full of setbacks and perceived failures and recognise that a supportive, open and resilient environment can maximise the opportunities to learn from our mistakes and disappointments, and to value negative data.
  • We consider that there are no “stupid” questions (the ones that feel like that are often the most important) and that planning questions as you listen is one of the best ways to learn.
  • We believe that it must always be fine to say “I don’t understand” or to respectfully disagree.
  • We recognise that people’s situations and career goals are different; we must all be responsible for taking initiative and being responsive to circumstances, but we also expect an environment of constructive support, to develop and mentor each other to meet those goals.
  • We are aware that grant supported projects need to meet specific aims, and that research groups have a core (but evolving) focus, but, within those constraints, we expect the scope to new create opportunities for our futures.