How to build an effective research network: lessons from two decades of the GARNet plant science community

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Geraint Parry
  • Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso
  • Murray Grant
  • Andrea Harper
  • C Jill Harrison
  • Eirini Kaiserli
  • Sabina Leonelli
  • Sean May
  • Sarah McKim
  • Steven Spoel
  • Colin Turnbull
  • Renier A L van der Hoorn
  • James Murray

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University Of Leeds
  • Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York University
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Nottingham
  • Imperial College
  • University of Oxford
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Warwick
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Dundee
  • James Hutton Institute
  • University of Edinburgh


Successful collaborative research is dependent on excellent ideas and innovative experimental approaches, as well as the provision of appropriate support networks. Collaboration requires venues, infrastructures, training facilities, and, perhaps most importantly, a sustained commitment to work together as a community. These activities do not occur without significant effort, yet can be facilitated and overseen by the leadership of a research network that has a clearly defined role to help build resources for their community. Over the past 20 years, this is a role that the UKRI-BBSRC-funded GARNet network has played in the support of the UK curiosity-driven, discovery-led plant science research community. This article reviews the lessons learnt by GARNet in the hope that they can inform the practical implementation of current and future research networks.

Bibliographic note

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6881-6889
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2020