The paper discusses a survey of British academic human geographers enquiring about change and diversification within personal research activities, their nature, motivations and impacts. It argues that this is widespread and a significant aspect of the production of contemporary geographical knowledge. The findings highlight the range of motivations underpinning research change, its impacts and mediation through the institutional context of British human geography. It concludes that despite a more prescriptive institutional context geographers have a degree of autonomy, albeit somewhat fettered, to shape their own research trajectories to some extent. This provides some important capacity with which to engage with imminent challenges facing the discipline in the UK). The paper complements recent critical histories of geography and sociological accounts of the discipline.