Academic collaboration in this interconnected world involves increasing interaction among academics and research managers from different countries and disciplines. Further, stakeholders outside of academia should join these discussions for better research management and administration. It is only through weaving diverse trans-national, trans-disciplinary, and trans-sectoral threads into a diverse tapestry that we can succeed in facing the complex global challenges of today.

INORMS 2021 will be held under the main theme Promoting Diversity in Research and Research Management Collaborations: More Trans-national, More Trans-disciplinary, More Trans-sectoral, and will feature the following five sub-themes:

1. Global Collaboration

The problems facing the world today are complex global challenges that cannot be solved by researchers working in one country alone. Fortunately, the rapid globalization of society is producing increasing numbers of globally mobile, globally minded researchers who are working to solve these problems through collaboration on a global scale. However, the rapid globalization of the research environment does not come without problems of its own.

This theme covers the wide range of challenges associated with the globalization of research and academia, for example:

  • Developing proposals for global research collaborations
  • Understanding the rules and regulations of international funding agencies
  • Managing global teams, research contracts, and agreements
  • Managing international budgets and finances
  • (Mis-)communication and expectations among global partners
  • Tools for global collaboration and global project management
  • Inter-/intra-regional partnerships for global challenges
  • Meeting the diverse needs of international and domestic researchers and students

Keywords: collaboration, communication, funding, globalization, international, material transfer, project management, research agreement, research contract, research proposal

2. Partnerships and Innovation beyond Academia

Researchers are not only expected to generate scientific achievements, they are also expected to bring the benefits of their work into the 'real world'. Research managers are thus required to promote collaborations between universities and industry or other non-academic sectors to facilitate connections between the people and skills needed to develop the research and implement or commercialize the results. The nature of such trans-sectoral research may invite (or necessitate) funding from unconventional sources, such as donations or crowdfunding. In such cases, research managers must also assist researchers in engaging with stakeholders and the public to ensure that the benefits of the research are widely understood.

This theme spans a wide range of topics, from basic knowledge and single-institution case studies to national and international frameworks and guidelines relevant to:

  • Collaborations with industry and other non-academic partners
  • Intellectual property, technology transfer, and research contracts
  • Interconnection between research and innovation
  • Entrepreneurship and start-ups
  • Engagement with research partners, beneficiaries, and the public
  • Obtaining research funding through donations and crowdfunding

Keywords: commercialization, crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, fundraising, government, industry, intellectual property, non-academic, philanthropy, private sector, public engagement, public sector, research contract, technology transfer

3. Research Evaluation and Impact

The acquisition of university and research budgets is becoming ever more dependent on performance evaluations, from those of individual research projects to assessments of entire universities. In some parts of the world, universities are striving to be placed among the top-ranked institutions globally, using metrics to identify their strengths and weaknesses. In others, the spotlight is on the benefits of research outside academia, and maximizing and communicating research impact has become a top priority.

This theme covers the topics of the two INORMS working groups established at INORMS 2018 in Edinburgh: the Research Evaluation Working Group and the Research Impact and Stakeholder Engagement Working Group. It focuses on the many approaches that have been proposed for the fair evaluation of research, each with its pros and cons, as well as the need to demonstrate the impact of research outside the academic setting. Topics may include:

  • Project-based, institutional, national, or global measurement of research output, quality, and impact
  • Global and national science policy
  • Responsible use of university rankings and metrics
  • Next-generation metrics, new technologies, and methods
  • Developing university policy and research strategy based on research evaluation
  • Benchmarking of research support offices
  • Demonstrating and delivering research impact
  • Social responsibility of universities and the UN sustainable development goals

Keywords: assessment, bibliometrics, institutional research, metrics, research strategy, science policy, social responsibility, sustainable development goals, university ranking

4. Professional Development of Researchers and Research Managers

A successful career in research or research management requires continuous education and professional development. Exposure to new ideas and cultural environments, established scientists, or enthusiastic early-career researchers from other sectors and research fields stimulates both researchers and research managers to assess their current skills and expertise, broaden their horizons, and develop new goals for their future career progression.

This theme covers existing professional development strategies for both researchers and research managers at all stages of their career, the need to adapt such strategies to a changing research landscape and increasingly diverse personnel, as well as proposals for new training programs that require collaboration, in areas such as:

  • Development of resources for professional development
  • Professional recognition and certificate programs
  • Mentoring and mobility programs
  • Support for early-career researchers returning from abroad
  • Senior-level professional development and leadership training
  • Performance evaluation and appraisal

Keywords: career development, career transition, certification, professional recognition, training curriculum, transferable skills

5. Research Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research

Conducting research does not only come with joy. Researchers are often under immense pressure to complete experiments and publish innovative findings within a limited grant period. In such circumstances, both researchers and research managers must understand and ensure compliance with all aspects of research ethics and good research practice.

This theme explores research managers' responses to challenges in research ethics and compliance, including, but not limited to:

  • All aspects of research and publication ethics
  • Creation of ethics and compliance frameworks, processes, and systems
  • Development of research integrity training programs
  • Investigations into research misconduct
  • Dealing with suspicious cases and questionable research practices
  • Managing different interpretations of research integrity among multiple research partners
  • Data management and open science

Keywords: compliance, data management, data repository, good research practice, governance, misconduct, open science, research ethics

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