Kavli INsD researchers and academics discuss ways to embed a culture of inclusivity and interdisciplinary collaboration

Kavli INsD was proposed by Professor Carol Robinson after successfully bidding to the Kavli Foundation to establish an institute. 


As the Institute’s first Director, Professor Robinson, gathered together researchers and academics on 8 and 9 September 2022 for a first round of exploratory conversations on future inter-disciplinary research with a focus on building a collaborative and inclusive research culture.


On Thursday 8 September, a group of twenty-one Post-Doctoral and DPhil Researchers, representing both Medical and Life Sciences departments based at the Kavli INsD, met at the Oxford Martin School.


A Photo from the Postdoc Away Day


The day kicked off with the Kavli Director speaking to the researchers about her vision for the Institute followed by discussion around researchers’ aspirations.

In smaller interdisciplinary groups, researchers further explored questions posed to them throughout the day. The intent was to garner ideas on setting the stage for a research climate that would harness the inter disciplinarity of the Institute, support career progression, leverage approaches to support outstanding research and build an inclusive community. From these discussions researchers prioritised initial core messages that would be shared with the Kavli academics the next day.


On Friday 9th September, a group of Kavli INsD Professors, Associate Professors and Group Leaders gathered at St Hilda’s College to appraise each other on their current research focus and explore potential synchronicities between them. Professor Carol Robinson discussed her vision for the Institute with her colleagues and facilitated further discussion around potential inter-disciplinary Institute-wide frontier research programmes. Professors also discussed the feedback received from the post-doctoral /DPhil researchers Away Day along with their own creative ideas on developing the Institute’s research culture in support of the Kavli INsD’s strategic aims. 


A Photo from the PI Away Day


The Kavli INsD aims to make significant contributions across a range of major health challenges: antimicrobial resistance, the brain and mental health, infectious disease, sleep and malaria – and to create new instrumentation to bring the analytical power of the physical sciences into the cell.


Professor Robinson said “I was delighted to see the engagement of the researchers on both awaydays. I felt that there was a good exchange of views and that some great ideas emerged that we are now implementing. I look forward to the next away days in 2023”.


Kind thanks for strategic support and co-facilitation from Dr Tanita Casci, Director of Research Strategy and Policy Unit and Dr Mary Muers, Research Culture Facilitator, Medical Sciences Division.


The Away Days were made possible by funding from Research England and the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund


Comments from our researchers 


‘The identity of Kavli is being formed now, let’s support that, this is a great space and energy for that is right here, right now.’

‘We want to shape the academic future.’

‘We discussed what would make us feel like we belong to the Kavli and how to harness all of our knowledge.’


Comments from our Kavli INsD academics


PROFESSOR Achillefs Kapanidis

“Brainstorming with colleagues from different disciplines about our new Institute was exciting, thought-provoking, and fun. We dreamt of ambitious and unconventional projects; we debated on how to best cultivate a collaborative culture in our new building; and we explored how to encourage and support our researchers during challenging times.”

Professor Achillefs Kapanidis - Department of Physics & Deputy Director, Kavli INsD


Professor Esther Becker

“The Away Day was a great day to get to know the other group leaders in the Kavli and a fantastic opportunity to discuss initiatives of how to build our Kavli community”

Professor Esther Becker – Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Vladyslav Vyazovskiy

“It was a very welcome opportunity to spend one day AWAY from the usual routine, and talk about science, exchange ideas, and meet potential future collaborators, as well as catch up with my colleagues ‘next door’".

Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy – Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute


DR Dominika Gruszka

“The Away Day was a wonderful opportunity to interact with Kavli colleagues across the disciplines. We had robust discussions about our individual and joint ambitions for advancing the Institute’s mission and shaping our culture and reputation. The outcomes of these discussions will help us build a creative and inclusive environment where researchers can thrive”

Dr Dominika T. Gruszka - Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow, Department of Physics 



‘The away day was a great way to connect with other Kavli PIs in a relaxed setting and explore common ground for future work. I look forward to further inspiring Kavli events’

Associate Professor Aarti Jagannath - Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences