Developing world class research for societal impact

By Benjamin Wan-Sang Wah and Michael Ming-Yuen Chang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Research assessment | 2016

The authors explore approaches considered to understand their CUHK’s impact on society, including reputation surveys, altmetrics and bibliometrics. They suggest that deep analysis of citations may be more meaningful than the current dependence on number of citations as a proxy for a paper’s quality.

The evolution of Australia’s national research assessment exercise

By Marcus Nicol, Leanne Harvey and Aidan Byrne, Australian Research Council

Research assessment | 2016

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) expert assessment is informed by indicators of research quality, application and recognition. The metrics used to inform assessments depend on the discipline and include such variables as external funding, publications, competitive awards and patents.

Quantity to quality: How South Korea surged ahead through basic science

By Doochul Kim, Institute for Basic Science

Research assessment | 2016

The Institute for Basic Science has established an internal review system that allows fair and rigorous research assessments. Its research centers are evaluated on research excellence, economic and social impact, training of talented researchers, research collaborations, and environment and infrastructure.

Italy’s Research Evaluation Exercise

By Sergio Benedetto and Marco Malgarini, ANVUR

Research assessment | 2016

The goal of Italy’s Research Evaluation Exercise is to evaluate the quality of the research conducted in Italian universities, and to rank these institutions and their departments in 16 research areas. The evaluation of 400 expert assessors will significantly inform the distribution of public funds.

Multi-level support for the UK's 2014 Research Excellence Framework

Research assessment | 2016

Considered one of the most ambitious national research assessments to date, the 2014 REF comprised more than 191,000 submissions from 56,000+ research staff representing 155 institutions across the UK. Elsevier provided a combination of products, services and customized functionality to support the REF.

Pioneering novel approaches to science and technology in Japan

By Michiharu Nakamura, Japan Science and Technology Agency

Investing in impact | Volume 5, Issue 1 – 2015

Over its history, the Japan Science and Technology Agency has nurtured its own distinct competencies, alongside a robust network of universities and private enterprises. By analyzing the S&T landscape around the world, JST can make proposals throughout Japan on high-impact research areas and subjects that should be addressed.

Picodiagnostics: a success story from the southern capital of Russia

By Alexander Soldatov, Southern Federal University

Investing in impact | Volume 5, Issue 1 – 2015

Synergy between the traditional Russian route for development of a research laboratory in the form of a scientific school and extensive international mobility for researchers led to the remarkable growth and development of Southern Federal University's International Research Center for Smart Materials.

Swimming against the current to fund foundational science

By Miyoung Chun, The Kavli Foundation

Investing in impact | Volume 5, Issue 1 – 2015

The Kavli Foundation has carved out strategic positions as a catalyzer in well-established centers of science and as a leader in identifying and developing new niche areas of science in a timely way. Kavli Institutes are structured to enable a level of independent inquiry lacking in funding from other sources.

The increasing velocity of S&T in the State of Rio de Janeiro

By Dr. Jerson L. Silva, FAPERJ and Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Investing in impact | Volume 5, Issue 1 – 2015

The State of Rio de Janeiro funding agency FAPERJ has achieved its most significant growth over the last 15 years and consolidated efforts as an important funder of science, technology and innovation. As a result, the State’s scientific output has improved in quantity and quality over recent years.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lund University exemplifies Swedish innovation

Interview with Per Eriksson, Lund University

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

Exemplifying adaptation and innovation, institutions like Lund University help Sweden consistently top the European Union’s Innovation Scoreboard. The university offers a comprehensive education as it establishes top research teams and a new international hub for materials science, and champions local development while seeding global companies.

Embedding an entrepreneurial culture at Northwestern

An interview with Alicia Löffler, Northwestern University

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

In 2010 Northwestern University decided to change the way it moves innovations to the market, instituting a more holistic approach and incorporating translational activities: discovering research with potential and moving innovations toward commercialization.

A national report highlights the potential for local impact

Interview with George Baxter, University of Salford

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

In October 2013 Sir Andrew Witty published a report exploring how UK universities can maximize the potential of their research output and translate it into supporting economic growth. The report helped the University of Salford confirm areas of focus in research and community engagement.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Innovation and interconnection within ROI

Interview with Yuko Harayama, Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office of Japan

Research ROI | Volume 3, Issue 1 – 2013

In Japan, we realized we needed to take advantage of our existing universities’ knowledge-creation capacity and transform that into industry. However is there a danger in moving away from basic research? The serendipitous use of created knowledge is a key component of innovation, but the pressure from policy makers is to explain the impact up front, which cannot be done in such a scenario.