Research leadership is not a common topic of discussion. It should be.
Research leadership matters. It drives, sustains, supports, protects and inspires people. It is connective and catalysing. This matters because without it, increasing public investment in research and development is unlikely to fulfil its potential in terms of both scientific excellence and societal impact.
Without thinking about what research leadership is and why it matters, the UK is unlikely to fulfil its science superpower ambitions.
What this path-breaking HEPI report uncovers, is a rather laid back and laissez-faire approach – possibly even amateurish – to nurturing research leaders who are ‘fit for the future’ rather than being ‘fit for the past’.
For the UK to achieve its aspirations on the global stage, the issue of research leadership must move from the periphery to the core of policymaking, funding decisions and thought-leadership when it comes to investing in research infrastructure, talent and skills for the twenty-first century.