Dr Amy Orben is the recipient of the 2002 UKRN Dorothy Bishop Prize.

Dr Amy Orben received the prize consisting of a ‘Doscar’ and £500 at the UKRN Annual Meeting on 11 March 2022.

Dr Amy Orben has been a champion of open research since early in her PhD, and is now a Programme Lead Track Scientist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge.

First, Dr Orben upholds the highest standards of research practice in her own work. She pioneered specification curve techniques which have impact on a wide range of research fields. Her own field of child and adolescent health and well-being is better off for the example she has set in conducting high quality, open and robust work on the effects of digital technology use.

In addition to leading by example in her own work, Dr Orben has been leader in institutional change. She holds a place on the University of Cambridge Steering Committee for Open Research, played a significant role in their decision to join the UKRN, and has secured central funding for in-house reproducibility workshops. At a local department level, she chairs the Open Science Committee, working closely with her library to create sustainable change in research access, and taking the lead in organising meaningful discussions about research culture. As many of us involved in scientific reform know, local conversations can be the hardest.

Finally, Dr Orben is perhaps most well-known for her efforts to support other early career researchers in taking steps to improve their research practice. This is reflected in her award winning teaching, and most notably in the central role she played in establishing the strong international network of ReproduciliTEA journal clubs.

Dr Orben’s achievements would be impressive at any career stage, and are all the more so for early career status.

The Advisory Board based its assessment on the criteria for shortlisting as advertised on the UKRN website:

  • Evidence of a sustained contribution towards the promotion and delivery of activities that have served to improve research quality in the UK.
  • Alignment with the mission and values of UKRN.

All the nominees have in common that they are frontrunners in responsible research practice in their field. They are not only intrinsically motivated to lead by example, but they also affect real change by setting up new initiatives at their universities, raising awareness, providing training, and doing important advocacy work in advisory committees and governing bodies to foster a healthy research culture.

This article was prepared by the UKRN Advisory Board, with special thanks to Sarah de Rijcke and Fiona Fidler.