The Heritage for Global Challenges Research Centre seeks to establish an international reputation for research excellence. It is also committed to encouraging and supporting intellectual work that makes a positive difference to society. It thus aims to actively and positively contribute to socially, culturally, politically and environmentally sustainable communities and places in the regions in which we are based, where we undertake research, and where we host events and other knowledge sharing activities

To achieve these ambitions, the Centre’s researchers require a supportive, inclusive and empowering research environment. This Research Culture Strategy provides a summary of the principles the Centre adheres to in order to create a thriving research environment. At essence, this strategy is about providing conditions that can ignite and celebrate research, as well as ensuring that every researcher feels visible and has the opportunity to craft a valued and viable academic life.

The Centre’s Research Culture Strategy is best read in conjunction with the University Strategy 2030: A University for Public Good, which outlines the University of York’s pledge to be guided by four core principles:

(1) environmental sustainability;
(2) collaboration across multidisciplinary boundaries;
(3) internationalism; and
(4) equality, diversity and inclusion.

It should also be read alongside the Department of Archaeology’s Research Strategy Summary 2022/2023 to 2026/27, in which an ambition to place equality, diversity and inclusion is highlighted, alongside the creation of a collegiate environment in which staff and students feel supported and valued.

The Heritage for Global Challenges Research Centre has complementary ambitions. It seeks to ensure a research culture that interacts in respectful and empowering ways with a range of interest groups, both within and outside the university sector, and it is steadfast in its efforts to foster and enable the participation of historically marginalised groups as defined by differences of sex, gender, ethnicity, faith and lived experience of disability.

The Centre’s Research Culture Strategy is therefore underpinned by an acknowledgment that addressing the many challenges currently facing society requires collaboration and diversity, both in terms of perspective and approach. It underscores our commitment to the above ambitions and outlines the principles we believe are necessary to provide for an inclusive and flourishing research environment – one that values mentorship, scholarship, and creativity over competing ranking scales and metrics.

In order to create such an environment, researchers in the Centre are guided by the following principles:

Principle 1: That researchers flourish in equitable and supportive environments.

Principle 2: That researchers thrive when they do work that has meaning for them.

Principle 3: That researchers thrive when they do work that has meaning for society as a whole and contributes to achieving societal goals.

Principle 4: That researchers are most successful when they are appropriately resourced.

Principle 5: That there is a diversity of research trajectories available in the Centre, with all research careers celebrated.

Principle 6: That research is greatly enhanced by collegiality and collaboration.

Principle 7: That research environments must embed equity, accessibility and inclusion in order to integrate a diversity of perspectives and approaches.

Principle 8: That, given the long-lasting consequences of colonialism, research that engages with Indigenous issues must be undertaken collaboratively with Indigenous peoples and committed to making a positive difference in the lives of Indigenous communities with which it is engaged.

Principle 9: That research that engages with community issues must be undertaken collaboratively with those communities and be committed to making a positive difference in their lives.

Principle 10: That the Centre’s research must be sensitive to the ethical, political, and practical consequences of seeking to understand and practice research in the world.

Principle 11: That the Centre is committed to critical, creative and engaged research that is characterised by quality over quantity.

Principle 12: That, as a site of critical, creative and engaged research, the Centre’s research must be primed to tackle complex societal challenges, even if this means questioning institutional and/or personal norms.