This page supports the sessions we run on the theme of collaboration. You’ll find more general links on the theme of funding on our Funding Links page.

These sessions look at various aspects of UK and international research collaborations with the objective of equipping researchers with the skills, questions and attitudes they need to manage these complex projects more effectively.

In addition to the slides, which are on the password protected pages of this section, we’ll link to the key sites and resources that we highlight during workshops.

Funding links:

We don’t claim to be experts in funding, but most researchers have access to these through their Research Support Offices. USE THESE EXPERTS to help you find the funding that is a good match for your career stage, research interests, research outcomes and amount of funding required.

However, in order to answer questions and run these sessions we do try to keep abreast of funding trends and these links have helped us:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/pdf/press/horizon2020-presentation.pdf Overview of Horizon 2020

http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/international/funding/ RCUK pages on international funding

http://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/funding/IN/IN.cfm Leverhulme Trust International Funding

http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2013_12_11/caredit.a1300274# Horizon 2020 – What’s in it for young scientists

Phil Ward of the University of Kent Research Services takes stock of Horizon 2020 in this blog post from May 2014 http://fundermental.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/h2020-taking-stock.html

At the moment, the European Commission is recruiting people for its Horizon 2020 experts’ pool. Although this opportunity may require more experience than most early career researchers demonstrate, it is worth being aware of and perhaps applying for (or encouraging a more senior colleague to do so).

Full details: http://ec.europa.eu/rea/become_an_evaluator/index_en.htm

Although we aren’t experts on European funding, Dr Sean McCarthy of Hyperion is – he runs comprehensive and insightful training into the background, rules and insider knowledge of H2020.

There is also advice from the British Council’s Dr Claire McNulty here – Advice on Applying to Funding Schemes.

Workshops

Devising and managing a research workshop is a great stepping stone to larger scale collaborations. You have the chance to position your work at the heart of a topic, to identify and engage with the key senior players in your field and to interact directly with funders.

Current workshop funding is available from a number of sources. Here are three we often look at in our sessions:

BBSRC international workshops http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/inter-workshops-pa-guidance.pdf

EPSRC funding for workshops http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/routes/network/Pages/workshops.aspx

AHRC funding for research networking http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Pages/Research-Networking.aspx 

ESRC funding for research seminars and strategic networks http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/funding-opportunities/33615/research-seminars-and-strategic-networks-competition-(8-april-2015).aspx 

(I can’t find a single page for NERC, but they clearly fund workshops – it may be that these are related to specific themes.)

British Council Researcher Links programme http://www.britishcouncil.org/cy/society/science/researcher-links  (The workshop strand of this funding programme is aimed at building an international community of researchers with interest in a uniting theme – the British Council then help to organise and publicise the event. Current workshops are listed here http://www.britishcouncil.org/society/science/researcher-links-workshops.)

 

Understanding partners and people

The “Center for the Advancement of Collaborative Strategies in Health” has developed many resources including a Partnership Self-Assessment Tool which can be sent to collaborators to determine the effectiveness of the research management and relationships. Although the online support has expired, the documents give a useful framework which could be used at meetings to ensure people can review the processes and project management.

In our internationally themed sessions we discuss the impact of cultural differences on collaboration. This is a topic which needs to be carefully handled as it is easy to make assumptions about nationalities which aren’t helpful. However, cultural awareness is an important consideration and has been the focus on a lot of research and investigation. For more information see www.geert-hofstede.com – we mention the Cultural Dimensions in some of our workshops as a starting point. The British Council are also, understandably, interested in cultural communication and have produced the Culture at Work report with some interesting insights into this topic.

Other useful links:

www.researchtoolkit.org – an online resource for research project management

http://ombudsman.nih.gov/tools.html Tools for handling conflict in collaborations

When we first started developing the workshops on collaboration, we were lucky enough to collaborate with Dr Catherine Lyall of the University of Edinburgh. Catherine has been involved in research on the understanding of collaboration for many years and has been co-author on a number of really useful guides produced during an ISSTI project.

New Interdisciplinary Wiki

Short interdisciplinary guides are available on: Developing ID proposals, Reviewing ID proposals, Building ID teams, Supervising ID PhDs, Troubleshooting, Knowledge exchange   …and other topics

Other sites we’ve found over the years that have been useful:

http://mathforum.org/dr.math/vmt/collaborate/ – a series of questions to diagnose problems with simple collaborations – very much a beginner’s guide.

Assessing Your Collaboration: A Self Evaluation Tool – Lynne M. Borden  and Daniel F. Perkins, Journal of Extension April 1999 // Volume 37 // Number 2 available online : http://joe.org/joe/1999april/tt1.html

Andrew Schwartz’s article on group decision processes is available on-line at http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/old/15703015.htm (CPA = Certified Public Accountants)

What Is Research Collaboration?  J. Sylvan Katz and Ben R. Martin, Science Policy and Research Evaluation Group A report on the distinction between collaboration and co-authorship in science research. Now a little dated (1995) but provides interesting background. Availble online from : www.sussex.ac.uk/Users/sylvank/pubs/Res_col9.pdf

Emil Chuck’s article on Successful collaboration and mentoring is one of a range of professional development articles available from the Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. These are written for a general audience. http://www.springer.com/chemistry/analytical?SGWID=0-136-12-459899-0 (Boo! Just checked this link which used to take you to a free download of the article and is now behind a paywall. Meanies.)

 

Workshops (password protected) – click on the workshop title for the slides or contact us using the form if you have attended these sessions and forgotten the password (more straightforward for us if you use a university email address)

Building Your International Profile:

Description:

The international nature of academic careers is such that your professional recognition and visibility need to reach far beyond the UK. This half day course, for early career researchers, is designed to help you identify and connect with the broadest possible research community.

Objectives:

  • understand academic reputation in UK and international systems.
  • explore differences in research cultures.
  • develop a plan to improve personal impact and visibility
  • evaluate social media tools as a mechanism for improving academic networks.

Developing International Research Collaborations

Description:

This workshop is aimed at staff wishing to develop substantial collaborations with groups outside the UK and focuses on strategies for effective working practices when working with researchers based in other countries.

Objectives:

  • strategies for identifying potential collaborators.
  • effective behaviours to establish successful research partnership.
  • understanding the potential risks of international collaborations in terms of cultural and system differences.
  • tailoring project management processes for international collaborations in areas including outputs, time management and feedback.

Building Effective Research Collaborations

Description:

This workshop is aimed at research staff who are involved in, or planning to establish collaborative research projects. The workshop will explore the benefits and risks associated with collaborative research, introduce strategies to identify potential partners and work with them effectively and explain how to make collaborative decisions, map out projects and communicate with local and remote partners.

Objectives:

  • apply relevant communication skills to initiate and sustain collaboration
  • develop coherent project plans to clarify and manage expectations between partners
  • use decision making processes in groups
  • identify sources of risk in projects and have strategies to minimise the impact of these
  • evaluate the processes which influence collaborations