Tag: research policy

Guest blogger: Where have all the scientists gone? Building research profiles at Dutch universities and its consequences for research

Grit Laudel  (TU Berlin)

Grit Laudel
(TU Berlin)

This guest entry is written by Grit Laudel (TU Berlin) and Elke Weyer (German Council of Science and Humanities). In their guest entry they examine how research profiles were built at Dutch universities, and analyse the impact of profile-building for both universities and scientific fields and the potential consequences of these developments for national science systems as a whole. 

This entry is based on the book chapter with the same title in: Richard Whitley & Jochen Gläser (eds.). Organisational Transformation and Scientific Change: The Impact of Institutional Restructuring on Universities and Intellectual Innovation.

The book is Vol.42 in the series of “Research in the Sociology of Organizations“.

Elke Weyer

Elke Weyer
(German Council of Science and Humanities)

New Public Management reforms in many countries include enhanced opportunities for universities to build research profiles and pressure by the government to do so. Building research profiles usually means the concentration of resources on fewer topics than before. Despite their prevalence in many higher education systems, these processes have found little attention in higher education research, and their effects are poorly understood. At the same time, concerns have been raised that profile-building might threaten the diversity of research and make some fields disappear from the national research landscape.

Our empirical study of profile-building at Dutch universities looked at micro-level processes of profile-building and their possible nation-level effects. The Netherlands provide an excellent laboratory for such analysis due to advanced New Public Management reforms and the relatively small size of the country, which makes national fields very sensitive to decisions at individual universities. (more…)




HEIK seminar with Dr Tatiana Fumasoli on the role of the European Research Council

Tatiana Fumasoli  (ARENA, University of Oslo)

Tatiana Fumasoli
(ARENA, University of Oslo)

We are pleased to inform you about another recorded session from the HEIK academic seminar series in the field of higher education, with both invited international speakers and members of the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures) here at the University of Oslo.

This lecture was recorded in November 2013 and features Dr. Tatiana Fumasoli who discusses the role of the European Research Council in the emerging European Research Area.

Listen to the session directly on HEIK website

Abstract for the session:  (more…)




Guest blogger: Research collaboration and research policy – Disciplinary differences are important

Professor Jenny M. Lewis (University of Melbourne)

This guest entry is by professor Jenny M. Lewis, who is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. In 2010-12 she was Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy at Roskilde University, Denmark. She held a grant from the Australian Research Council from 2008- 2010, to examine academic collaboration and research performance. The following is based on this study, and a book: “Academic Governance: Disciplines and Policy”, will be published by Routledge in 2013. Find out more about her work here.

Attempts to increase research collaboration can be seen in the type of grants available in many national funding systems, around the world. However, if these are aimed at one particular model of collaboration, the effects may be deleterious rather than beneficial, both to the academics conducting research, and to the nations that hope to benefit from the fruits of these collaborations. Research policy and funding should bear these differences in mind when seeking to stimulate collaborative research, so as to gain better outcomes across a range of disciplines. The following summarizes some findings published in a recent article in Higher Education (Lewis et al 2012).

There are profound differences in how academics in different disciplines do research, and it could be expected that this is also true of how they collaborate. Collaborative working in (biological and physical) science has been extensively studied, but the literature examining collaboration in the humanities (particularly), and also in the social sciences, is much smaller. So how do academics (other than biological and physical scientists) collaborate? And are there substantial differences between disciplines in the how and why of collaboration?

Improving research policy requires a more thorough understanding of the variety of collaboration types across disciplines. It seems that (more…)




Guest blogger: The elicitation of research impact through engagement

dr. Richard Watermeyer (University of Cardiff)

In this guest entry, dr. Richard Watermeyer from University of Cardiff examines the  public engagement agenda and shift towards using “impact” as a core element in evaluating the quality of research in UK. 

This guest entry draws on the article “From Engagement to Impact? Articulating the Public Value of Academic Research”.

In recent years the UK’s Higher Education (HE) community has been tasked with responding to a mandate of increased transparency, openness and a willingness to more proactively and fluently engage with public constituencies, particularly cohorts outwith the realms of common or established interaction, in the pursuit of greater social inclusion and cohesion.

Advocates of engagement in HE have mobilised around a discourse of dialogue, upstream engagement and knowledge co-production co-opted from the burgeoning disciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and proponents of a public understanding of science movement, which/who emerged in the UK in the mid-1980s and promulgated the social responsibilities of the scientific community and the social and economic advantages of a more integrated and cohesive arrangement between scientific experts and lay publics, predicated on the latter’s early dialogical integration and sustained involvement in the deliberative aspects of the research process. (more…)




Innovation policies in the Nordic countries – different national policy debates?

In June 2012, the research group HEIK at the Faculty of Education in University of Oslo held an international open seminar titled “The challenge of the Research, Development & Innovation (RDI) role of Higher Education Institutions: different national policy debates and institutional developments in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden“.

We are delighted to be able to offer you the possibility to listen to these presentations here on the Hedda blog as well.

Speakers at this seminar included Mats Benner (Lund University and Uppsala University), Peter Maassen (University of Oslo), Bjørn Stensaker (University of Oslo) and Kaare Aagaard (Århus University).

The main starting point for the seminar was that in recent decades one can identify a series of large scale reforms, where higher education increasingly has to deal with complex tasks beyond the traditional teaching and research activities. A growing number of societal problems call for a closer connection between innovation and higher education – however, what do we really know about current RDI policies in the Nordic countries and what have been the experiences this far?

You can download the background paper further reflecting on the topic of the seminar at the HEIK homepage, and listen to the introductory presentation and presentations of four country cases here. (more…)