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Purpose: The purpose of the study detailed here was to engage with Directors of Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) during the first year of their new Centres to form a snapshot view of the nature and type of training that was being incorporated and how this might affect the wider institution – in this case the university. Using an organisational learning lens, this paper empirically examines the work-in-progress of the responsible innovation (RI) training in CDTs to assess how new RI understandings are being created, retained and transferred within the CDTs, questioning whether this process represents a programme of “institutionalisation”. Design/methodology/approach: During the past decade, RI has become increasingly embedded within the EU and UK research context, appearing with greater frequency in funding calls and policy spaces. As part of this embedding, in its 2018 funding call for CDTs, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) required RI training to be included in the programme for all doctoral students. Findings: The paper concludes that, at present, institutionalisation is highly variegated, with the greater organisational change required to truly embed RI mindsets. Originality/value: The paper provides original, empirical research evidence of RI institutionalisation in UK CDTs, and, using a “learning organisation” lens, examines areas of value to both RI and learning organisation theory.

Original publication




Journal article


Learning Organization

Publication Date