Calling all scientists – what’s it like being you?

What motivates scientists and what pressures are they under? What effects are funding, publishing and governance systems having on the production of high quality, ethical scientific research? Is competition in science a good thing?

These are some of the questions being explored in a survey to find out how the different features of the UK research environment are affecting, both positively and negatively, the work and behaviour of scientists at all stages of their career.

The survey is part of a project involving the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, Royal Society, Society of Biology, Institute of Physics and Royal Society of Chemistry which will gather views and promote debate about the culture of scientific research in the UK.  Scientific research is increasingly professional, interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, globally competitive and technologically advanced. This presents exciting opportunities to further scientific understanding, but some elements of current research culture may be undermining efforts to maintain ethical conduct in science and produce high quality, valuable, accessible research

In addition to the survey, a series of events will also take place across the UK this summer to discuss with scientists and others their views on these issues. The findings of the survey and events will be published and presented to policy makers towards the end of 2014. Sign up for updates about the project.

They would like to hear from people involved in all kinds of scientific research in the UK (including bioscience, medicine, physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computing, veterinary science and psychology), in the public, charitable and private sectors. As well as researchers themselves, they would like to hear from others with an interest in scientific research, such as university managers and support staff, professional bodies, funders of research, editors and publishers of journals, science communicators, social scientists, policy makers, NGOs and campaigning bodies.

It will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the survey.

Find the survey at:

Find out more about the project:

RCUK Open Access Block Grant: Internal Process Simplified

The RCUK Open Access Block Grant to Oxford is available and easy to apply for. The University Research Committee recently agreed to simplify the application process; sign-off from the Head of Department is no longer necessary.

Oxford staff and students can apply for funds to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) or article-related charges for papers submitted for publication on/after 1st April 2013,

  • If they do not have such funding on the relevant RCUK program, project, fellowship or student grant from RCUK awarded prior to 1 April 2013


  • If they hold a new RCUK award commencing on or after 1 April 2013

For a brief summary of the requirements set by each of the Research Councils, please see

Questions can be posted via

RCUK will in summer 2014 audit compliance with its policy which requires that for peer-reviewed papers submitted for publication after 1st April 2013 which are based in whole or part on RCUK-funded research, authors must

  1. Make their paper Open Access either via the payment of an APC or by placing the author accepted manuscript in a recognised subject-based or institutional repository (such as the Oxford Research Archive)
  2. Acknowledge the source of funding that supported the research i.e. funder and grant number where applicable.
  3. If applicable, include a statement on how the underlying research materials such as data, samples or models, can be accessed.