Growing Research in New Universities

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Oct 28, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Growing Research in New
Universities

Dr Ellen Hazelkorn

IMHE/OECD, Paris and DIT, Dublin



Managing the University Community
-


Building a
Research Strategy and Funding It’

EUA conference, Barcelona, June 2004





Themes of Presentation



Context



Institutional Research Strategy



‘Best Practice’



Policy Implications for Government and Higher
Education


1. Context



For the first time, a really international world of learning,
highly competitive, is emerging. If you want to get into that
orbit, you have to do so on merit. You cannot rely on politics
or anything else. . .




R
esearch is a core element of the mission of higher
education. The extent to which higher education institutions
are engaged in research and development activities has a
key role in determining the status and the quality of these
institutions and the contribution, which they make to
economic and social development.





HE Research as Economic Driver


Global knowledge
-
economy

Strategic importance of
national research strategy


National and regional development

production of new
knowledge, knowledge transfer and economic
performance


Role and mission of HE → task of growing research
capability and capacity no longer optional


I
nnovation, application and knowledge specialization


c
ompetitive advantage and performance



Institutional Context


National and regional economy


Institutional history and development


Research experience, capability and capacity


HE system and role of individual HEIs





Challenges of Growing Research


Poor institutional infrastructure


Limited scale and critical mass


Academic staff often without necessary prerequisites


Not traditionally resourced for research


Academic workload tensions


New disciplines without research tradition


2. Institutional Research Strategy







‘Sustain academic and professional reputation in
knowledge
-
based economy’


‘Align academic activities with economic development
of region’


‘Retain and improve position’


‘Attract and retain high quality faculty and students’


‘Maintain cutting
-
edge curriculum’ and ‘create
stimulating learning environment’



Why do Research?



Identifying
Institutional Goals


Research informed


Research based


Research active


Research led


Research intensive




Strategic Planning and Priority
-
setting


Shape what should do, not simply what can or are
best equipped to do



Optimal use of scarce resources (financial, human and
physical)



Align institutional competencies with external
environment and national aspirations



Balance existing capability with potential and
opportunities





Priority
-
setting Process


Centralised or top
-
down
:
priorities and funding are
determined by Pro
-
Vice Chancellor for Research



De
-
centralised or bottom
-
up
: priorities set by individual
researchers or departments



Combination:

priorities set via involvement of different
vertical levels of university personnel, boards and
groups





Identifying Objectives


To grow research capability and capacity



To ensure strong research
-
teaching nexus



To link research to wider societal responsibilities



To increase and allocate resources to facilitate
productivity and reward excellence



To establish research clusters/centres of excellence



To enhance institutional status and mission





Identifying Priorities


Applied research


Industry
-
related


Basic research



Institutional significance


Collaboration


Interdisciplinary


Regional or local significance


New or emerging domain


Creative practice




Defining Research


‘Our main focus is applied research…with outcomes in
consulting and experimental production.’



‘We normally use the term research and other scholarly
activities…’



‘For government, we distinguish between basic and
applied research and development. However, our
activities are so diversified …’



‘Our research strategy is built around making a difference
to all R&D partners


be they enterprises, industry
sectors, government or communities.

. .’





Widening the Definition of Research


Basic vs applied



Disciplinary vs interdisciplinary (Mode 1 vs Mode 2)



Professional and creative practice



Knowledge and technology transfer



Research vs Scholarship


Research and
Scholarship?






Organizing Research (1)

T = R


Inclusive departments



T & R


Departments + units/centres



T


R


Departments + autonomous centres



T


R


University + autonomous institutes



Organising Research (2)


Determining the teaching and research nexus


Distinguishing between ‘discipline oriented’ and
‘problem solving’ research


Linking research/commercialisation to society via
boundary
-
crossing units


Building collaborative research teams with other
universities, research labs, industry, organisations, etc.



Building Competence


Recruit


Re
-
invigorate


Train


Re
-
orient


Enable




Incentives and Rewards


Greater research time


Targeted grants


Promotional opportunities


Enhanced facilities


Internships with industry or other partners


Salary increases


Sabbatical leave




Research Office


Professional One
-
stop Shop


Financial and budget advice


Identify funding opportunities


Project preparation


Project management


Research training and mentoring


Ph.D. programmes


Intellectual property and commercialisation advice




Financing Research


Government funding is declining


Rise in competitive external funding


Diversify funding base


Income generation via consultancy, services,
commercialisation, IP


Investment strategies




Resource Allocation Model


Criteria influenced by national/international benchmarks



Institute or faculty assessment panels



Peer
-
review publications, research income, citations,
PhDs



Role of professional or creative practice? consultancy?



Formulaic funding to match institutional/national
objectives and priorities





Difficulties Encountered


Institutional ethos


Rigidity or lack of flexibility


Faculty response


Funding


Numbers of researchers


Speed by which decisions implemented


Evaluation process

3. ‘Best Practice’



What Works


Director/Pro
-
Vice Chancellor for Research


Research office


Research strategy and management plan


Priority
-
setting and evaluation process


Research units/centres with special resources





Indicative Research Structure

V
-
P Research

Research Strategy

Committee

Research Office

Technology Transfer

Office

Research Centres

and Units

Science Parks

and Incubator Centres

Graduate Students


Research Active Faculty



Targeted Approach


Invest



Aggressive use of performance indicators



Limited number of research priorities



Research teams/centres



‘Graduate School’



Strategic alliances and collaboration



Align funding, recruitment, etc. to priorities





Building a ‘Culture of Scholarship’


Not everyone needs to be involved in research


Policies should enhance nexus between research and
teaching


Range of services, awards and rewards to encourage
and facilitate research should be introduced


Wider definition of scholarship, rather than a traditional
dichotomous view of basic and applied, would provide
more encouraging environment




Strategic Choices


Recruit or grow?


T+R vs T/R?



Research culture vs culture of scholarship?


Individual researchers vs research teams?


Targeted/niche vs seed
-
corn/universal funding?


Institutional funding vs competitive funding?


Decentralised vs centralised management structure?



Process of Growing Research

Context

Strategy


Organisation

Global
knowledge
economy

National &
regional
economy

HE system &
investment

HEI history &
experience

Evaluation &
benchmarking


Strategic plan &
priority setting

Match
competences
with niche

Investment
strategy

Align funding,
recruitment to
priorities

RAM

Alliances &
collaboration


V
-
P Research


Research &
KT/TT Office


Research teams
& centres


‘Science parks’


Graduate
School


HR policies


Infrastructure

Government vs HEI Mission? Teaching vs Research vs Scholarship? World
-
class vs National vs Region; S&T vs SS&H

4. Policy Implications for
Government and Higher Education



Two Scenarios


Few research universities concentrate all world class
research across all disciplines; rest concentrate on
undergraduate or professional teaching with limited
locally relevant applied research.



Spread of teaching and research excellence with
universities as ‘main proximity knowledge providers’
driven to specialise because of relevance and
competences.






Late
-
developers and Newcomers


Barriers or restricted barriers to entry


Disadvantages of starting late from poor base


Market forces


devastating impact on late developer or
newcomer


Close relationship between policymakers and dominant
groups


Criteria and rules for research funding are antipathetic to
new HEIs




Policy Initiatives (1)


Underpin and build on diverse university missions in
research and innovation


Enhance regional/spatial strategy: innovation networks,
learning regions, community engagement


Widen funding metrics
to support research (basic and
applied), creative/professional practice,
knowledge and
technology transfer


Investment strategy to grow research capability and
capacity



Policy Initiatives (2)


‘Head
-
start’ grants to overcome late development


Target staff development, mobility and HR strategies


Support research training and career development


Strengthen institutional/research management and
leadership






Principal Conclusions


Important challenges impeding late
-
developers and
newcomers


Market conditions not sufficient to meet/overcome
challenges


N
ew knowledge production requires new structures &
frameworks



Role of government and policy instruments is critical


Barriers to entry rising


Gap widening between ‘research rich’ and ‘research poor’






ellen.hazelkorn@dit.ie

www.oecd.org/edu/higher