Attracting talent in a global academic world: How emerging research universities can benefit from brain circulation

By Jamil Salmi, Global Tertiary Education Expert

BRAIN CIRCULATION | Volume 2, Issue 1 – 2012

Though academic mobility has been a defining element of higher education from its beginnings, it has now reached unprecedented levels, and is likely to continue growing as countries and tertiary education institutions compete for the most talented professionals. As the examples in this article illustrate, a notable selection of universities in emerging economies have succeeded in building their teaching and research capacity by relying extensively on their ability to lure and keep foreign academics, often through directed recruitment from their diasporas.

Germany’s refreshing approach to researcher mobility

By Margret Wintermantel, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Researcher mobility | Volume 4, Issue 2 – 2014

Internationalizing German universities, attracting highly qualified researchers and students, and increasing global competitiveness are among the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) most important goals. In addition, its joint programs are designed to serve all participating countries on a continual and long-term basis.

Ambitious and agile: The University of Bremen’s institutional strategy for advancing research strengths at a mid-sized university

By Rolf Drechsler and Achim Wiesner, University of Bremen

TEAM SCIENCE | Volume 2, Issue 2 – 2012

The University of Bremen produces internationally competitive research, ranking especially high in volume of third-party funding for that research. Bremen has been notably boosted in its development by its capacity for internal cooperation and communication.

Tackling grand challenges: Boosting interdisciplinarity to embrace complexity, unknowns and imperfection

By Gabriele Bammer, The Australian National University

Interdisciplinary Research | Volume 3, Issue 2 – 2013

For a team-based interdisciplinary effort to successfully address complex, real-world grand challenges, we need to boost our problem-solving skill sets. In addition to reductionist thinking, which gives us detailed understanding of specific elements of the problem, we need to enhance our ability to also understand the problem as a system. This involves understanding interconnections, possible vicious or stabilizing cycles, simple rules that may underpin complex behaviors, properties that emerge when the focus moves from one level in a hierarchy to another, and so on.

UK study reveals that internationally mobile researchers are significantly more productive

By Andrew Plume, Elsevier

BRAIN CIRCULATION | Volume 2, Issue 1 – 2012

The International Comparative Performance of the UK Research Base: 2011 report assessed the performance of the UK's research base. It found that UK researchers generate more articles per researcher, more citations per researcher, and more usage per article authored, and that the researchers' mobility was a key factor.

Invisible agents: Faculty as internationalizers

By Jeremy Adelman, Princeton University

Researcher mobility | Volume 4, Issue 2 – 2014

So long as faculty mobility is regarded as a begrudged necessity and not as an opportunity, we sever global research from local teaching and drive a deeper wedge between the different functions of the faculty in the 21st-century university.

Guidance for team science leaders: Tools you can use

By Holly J. Falk-Krzesinski, Elsevier

TEAM SCIENCE | Volume 2, Issue 2 – 2012

The author explores recent findings about team assembly and composition, as well as trust and communication, and offers related tools leaders can use to implement effective practices in team science.

Creating cross-culturally competent leaders for global teams

By Norhayati Zakaria, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Interdisciplinary Research | Volume 3, Issue 2 – 2013

With the globalization of research teams, institutions are increasingly paying attention to the interconnections between management competencies and culture. Whether the team is together in one physical location or operates in a virtual environment, challenges can arise from many sources: cultural, managerial, operational, efficiency or effectiveness concerns, and more.

China: Building an innovation talent program system and facing global competition in a knowledge economy

By Yu Wei and Zhaojun Sun, Peking University

BRAIN CIRCULATION | Volume 2, Issue 1 – 2012

China is experiencing a serious shortage of high-level innovation talent, which presents a challenge to current efforts to develop the knowledge economy and build an innovation-oriented country. Efforts are underway to recruit special talents from among the 200,000 Chinese citizens estimated to be working in major developed countries after completing their overseas studies.

Researcher mobility in different stages of national research development

By Georgin Lau and Lei Pan, Elsevier

Researcher mobility | Volume 4, Issue 2 – 2014

By mining authors’ institutional affiliation data in research publications, Elsevier’s Analytical Services developed and applied a researcher mobility model to Nigeria and China at each country's phase of research development.

The Malaysian experience: A new approach in managing multi-disciplinary research projects

By Mohd Jailani Mohd Nor, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka

TEAM SCIENCE | Volume 2, Issue 2 – 2012

Realizing that R&D excellence cannot happen in bits and pieces, the Ministry of Higher Education has launched a comprehensive initiative to create synergistic efforts in promoting R&D excellence throughout Malaysia. To secure the new incentives, all parties interested in conducting research in Malaysia, including university administrators, research offices, research groups and individual researchers, must now work together in multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional teams.

Genomics era gives rise to new breed of complex, cross-cutting projects

Interview with Mary Ellen Perry, NIH, and George Weinstock, WUSTL

Interdisciplinary Research | Volume 3, Issue 2 – 2013

Hundreds of researchers and multiple academic institutions and NIH institutes participated in the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) to sequence and analyze microbial genomes, create resource repositories, and examine the associated ethical, legal and social implications. The NIH Common Fund supported the HMP as its goals spanned the missions of several NIH Institutes and Centers.

A new Taiwanese university system begins to take shape amid major societal shifts

Interview with Da Hsuan Feng, National Tsing Hua University

COLLABORATION | Volume 1, Issue 1 – 2011

The Academic Executive Brief interviews Da Hsuan Feng about the formation of the University System of Taiwan. People in Taiwan realized that merging the four universities would be virtually impossible because of the extremely competitive climate within Taiwanese higher education. Instead, another model was proposed to achieve some sort of commonality for competing not only nationally, but globally.

Meeting our research goal by recruiting and advancing talented researchers

By Jiecai Han and Xiaohong Wang, Harbin Institute of Technology

Researcher mobility | Volume 4, Issue 2 – 2014

To survive the fierce competition for scholars in China, HIT decided to bring talented researchers from abroad to HIT for initiation and fusion of disciplines, and to cultivate talented researchers by having them spend time abroad to open their academic field of view and to go further with their careers.

Big Science teams built on research discovery and networking systems

By Mike Conlon, University of Florida and Kristi L. Holmes, Washington University in St. Louis

TEAM SCIENCE | Volume 2, Issue 2 – 2012

In modern science, like never before, it often takes a top-notch team to maximize the discovery process and compete effectively for essential funding opportunities. Forming a world-class team requires a rich and varied type of research discovery, one in which member scientists have both a broad and deep awareness of what is going on in their discipline. To fully understand the 21st Century landscape of science, we now need networks to better collect, observe, disseminate, and evaluate what is going on in science. One such interdisciplinary network is VIVO, which comprises more than 100 institutions representing more than 1 million scholars and support staff across more than 25 countries.

Cross-border feats: Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University is breaking boundaries in Asia

By Bertil Andersson and Tony Mayer, Nanyang Technological University

Interdisciplinary Research | Volume 3, Issue 2 – 2013

By changing mind-sets and creating new interactions, we can open universities to new ways of working and generate excitement about interdisciplinary possibilities. Young institutions such as Nanyang Technological University may have advantages in this realm; their structures are not as constrained as those of older institutions. By promoting interdisciplinarity within a Humboldtian ethos, combining research and education, young institutions can be at the forefront of change.

Eye on America: Working with and within a winner-take-all competitive system

By Brad Fenwick, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

COLLABORATION | Volume 1, Issue 1 – 2011

In the winner-take-all system, everyone pays to compete but only one person walks away with the prize. In the competition for grants and contracts, the investment in infrastructure is enormous if you want to remain competitive. As the cost of winning goes up, the resources become scarcer, the prizes become more precious, and the bidding rises. It is increasingly clear that the focus must be on the development of systems that enhance institutional productivity and effectiveness.

Science at the interface: UoH’s quest for innovation and excellence

By Ram Ramaswamy, University of Hyderabad

TEAM SCIENCE | Volume 2, Issue 2 – 2012

Many academic leaders believe that the most exciting developments of any given field lie along its boundaries with other disciplines. This article describes the various multidisciplinary centers established by the University of Hyderabad after it received a grant of approximately US $6 million to focus research in Interfacial Studies. Making faculty members think more about the ways in which disciplines can mesh has encouraged UoH colleagues to venture into exciting and unexplored regions of the academic landscape.

Challenge accepted – Japan’s AIMR champions mathematical integration to afford infinite possibilities

By Motoko Kotani, Tohoku University

Interdisciplinary Research | Volume 3, Issue 2 – 2013

In the 21st century, materials science seems to be at a turning point, changing into a more exact science based on fundamental principles and prediction. AIMR is playing a leading role by gathering top international researchers from various backgrounds and developing interdisciplinary research in a supportive environment.

Global scientific collaboration and global problems

By Chris Llewellyn Smith, University of Oxford

COLLABORATION | Volume 1, Issue 1 – 2011

The global scientific landscape has changed dramatically in the last two decades. Since the beginning of the century, global spending on research and development has nearly doubled, and the number of scientific publications has grown by almost a third. This article, based on the Royal Society's "Knowledge, networks and nations: Global scientific collaboration in the 21st century," describes changes in the global scientific scene and analyses their implications.

US research enterprise powered by international postdocs

With Keith Micoli, New York University Langone Medical Center

BRAIN CIRCULATION | Volume 2, Issue 1 – 2012

The Academic Executive Brief interviews Keith Micoli, Postdoctoral Program Director at New York University Langone Medical Center and former chair of the National Postdoctoral Association. Micoli reflects on the importance of postdocs to the US research enterprise, the largely international nature of the position, and the importance of making the postdoc an attractive career option.

Shaping our future: The University of Birmingham’s challenge to attain research excellence

By Adam Tickell, University of Birmingham

During the past 15 years or so, the University of Birmingham progressively slipped according to the UK’s research evaluation measures. Under the leadership of a new Vice Chancellor, Professor David Eastwood, the university went through an ambitious transformation to achieve its goal of becoming a leading global university.

Eye on Mexico: Public support for science is high, but transition to a research-based economy remains the challenge

By Edmundo A. Gutiérrez-D., National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics, Mexico

RESEARCH AND PUBLIC OPINION | Volume 1, Issue 2 – 2011

Most Mexican companies are oriented towards low-tech production and commercialization of imported goods, while the government is steering the research community, through the evaluation process, towards an international qualification level, which is not correlated with the country’s current industrial needs. This disconnect is hindering the transition toward a more technology-oriented base economy. There is an urgent need to build confidence in the joint university-industry relationship and to reorient high-skilled human resources to meet Mexico’s industrial and technology needs.

Improving research in Spanish public universities: Impact and opportunities

By Francesc Xavier Grau Vidal, University Rovira i Virgili

Research ROI | Volume 3, Issue 1 – 2013

The recent large reduction in public finance in Spain is affecting all public services, including the pillars of our society: the health service, social cohesion, and education. In the case of universities, the effect is twofold. In addition to negatively influencing their role as providers of higher education, the reduction in public finance is harming our universities’ ability to generate knowledge and their power to bring about cultural, social and economic change.

From conception to reinvention: KAIST advances Korean economic development

By Byoung Yoon Kim and Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang, KAIST

Academic research and economic development | Volume 4, Issue 1 – 2014

For the new economy, KAIST is recharging itself to educate future entrepreneurs and to create an ecosystem for world-class technology startups. It is planning new programs for entrepreneurship education and adding the supporting infrastructure, while strengthening basic R&D activities to sustain creativity and innovation.