Researcher Collaboration Group
During the U21 Research Leaders meeting hosted by Lund University in May 2012, delegates voiced the desire to share knowledge on funding streams which were available for international collaboration. It was noted that each member university has strengths in research and the group should take the opportunity to facilitate researcher mobility and collaboration by jointly applying to funding bodies. The Research Leaders nominated colleagues from within their offices who have responsibility for research funding and international collaboration – and so the Researcher Collaboration Group was formed.
Following the inaugural meeting by teleconference, the direction of the group was established, as detailed below.
1. An expert panel to assist and advise U21 researchers about international funding
One of the main barriers highlighted was lack of knowledge about how researchers can access international funding, as many are simply not always aware of the different funds available. It was noted that the ability to guide researchers to accurate information and, more importantly, a point of contact with regional expertise of those funding opportunities, would be a powerful tool. It was decided that this group should act as regional experts who could respond to U21 researchers with technical assistance and knowhow to aid international funding bids. A central, single point of contact would be provided and promoted around the network, and queries would be directed from this to the appropriate member of the panel.
2. Researcher mobility
Many of the EU members noted a number of funding streams which could be accessed to assist with researcher mobility into and out of Europe. A number of members expressed interest in seeing if U21 could collectively take advantage of these and agreed to work together following the meeting.
It was also noted that this group should share information concerning internal scholarships and fellowships, and additionally expressions of interest to host incoming researchers.
3. Project partnerships
As discussions progressed it became clear that different universities facilitated research bids in different ways. Some members were happy with a top-down ‘facilitated’ method, whereas others chose to let researchers approach them when they needed assistance/advice in association with research funding.
It was noted that not all members need to follow the same initiatives, but any members wishing to follow a top-down facilitated method could use the contacts within this group to explore possibilities.
Current Group Overview
The report from the third U21 Researcher Collaboration Group meeting, which took place in May 2015, is now available below. Hosted by the University of Nottingham, the meeting was attended by 29 delegates from 15 members. There was lively and thought-provoking discussion and the full report can be read below.
Denise Clark, Associate Vice President for Research Administration at the University of Maryland is the current chair of this group.