Kavli INsD Researchers and Academics Meet for the 2nd Kavli Culture Away Day

A collage of various photos taken during the Postdoc Away Day


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 22 and 24 March 2023 for a second round of exploratory conversations on future inter-disciplinary research with a focus on strengthening collaborations and building an inclusive research culture.

On Wednesday 22 March 2023, a group of twenty-five Post-Doctoral and DPhil Researchers, representing both Medical and Life Sciences departments based at the Kavli INsD, met at the Oxford Martin School.

The day kicked off with the Kavli Director speaking to the researchers about her experience of building research collaborations. In smaller interdisciplinary groups, researchers first explored ways to prepare for and manage team working and collaborations and included  further career perspectives and experiences of working collaboratively from Kavli Management Committee member, Professor Matt Higgins.

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 drafted a ‘Collaboration Canvas’ as suggested guidance document for institution wide collaborative team work and that was introduced at the Academic Away Day that followed.

The remainder of the day was spent by researchers embracing the challenge to surface potential scientific collaborations between their disciplines and putting the ‘Kavli Collaboration Canvas’ into practise.


A collage of various photos taken during the PI Away Day


On Friday 24 March 2023, a group of Kavli INsD Professors, Associate Professors and Group Leaders gathered at The Queen’s College, Oxford University to update each other on their current research focus and discuss views on what lay at the frontier of their respective fields. Professor Carol Robinson facilitated further discussion around potential inter-disciplinary Institute-wide discovery research programmes and the development of pioneering new instrumentation.

Guest speaker Dr Sarah Teichmann FRS FMedSci, shared valued experience and views about ‘successful inter-disciplinary’ institutes in which she had worked - including the LMB, the Cavendish Laboratory and the Wellcome Sanger Institute where she is currently a Director.

Creative ideas on team working, generated at the the post-doctoral /DPhil researchers Away Day, were also discussed.

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 very proud to take part in these two away days. For me there was a tangible excitement on both days. It really felt as though we had moved from teams from different departments to colleagues interacting across disciplines.

A big thank you to all those involved in the planning and running of these events”. 

With acknowledgement and appreciation to Natacha Wilson, Cambridge Insights for co-design and co-facilitation of the Researcher’s Away Day on 22 March 2023.

Special thanks also to Sarah Teichmann for her outstanding lecture and follow up discussion with early career researchers. 

Kind thanks for ongoing strategic support  Dr Tanita Casci, Director of University 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 about what makes working at the Kavli INsD inspirational:                             

‘I love multi & inter-disciplinary research. I don't need encouragement - I just love it.’

‘Putting together different techniques to answer a biological shared question and building a common interest.’

‘Working with likeminded enthusiastic individuals to achieve a common goal and to publish cool science.’

Comments from our Kavli INsD academics

Dr Lindsay Baker

‘The Away day deepened my appreciation for the diversity of research going on in the Kavli but also reflected more broadly the commitment we all have made to interdisciplinary research. I’m excited for things to come’

Dr Becky Carlyle

‘There’s a real ‘can-do’ attitude at the Kavli. From my group and the group next door, there has been three recent collaborations from completely different disciplines that have arisen from the phrase ‘I don’t know, but let’s give it a shot’. It’s a really motivating place, full of interesting ideas and novel approaches’

Dr Charmaine Lang

‘The Away Day provided a welcoming space for a new team leader, like myself, to find out more about the innovative science being produced by my colleagues and to be able to contribute ways in which to promote Kavli community Initiatives. In fact, discussion throughout the day, struck up a number of exciting collaborative opportunities, which exemplifies the Kavli INsD’s capacity for cross disciplinary research’

Professor Achillefs Kapinidis

‘Really enjoyed a day that showcased the diversity of research in the Kavli and revealed exciting opportunities for collaborations! The discussions with Sarah Teichmann were also inspiring and thought-provoking about how to run successful multi-scale interdisciplinary projects in a changing research landscape’ 

Professor Matt Higgins

‘The away day was a great opportunity to discuss with colleagues from a range of scientific disciplines how we can work together to build world class infrastructure to underpin our work’

Professor David Ray 

‘The key for me is the highly interdisciplinary nature of the Kavli grouping, with a strong emphasis on resolution of pathways, and identification of targets at the molecular level.  The willingness to build a new collaborative and supportive research culture, with shared research equipment offers an exciting, and attractive future vision’