Key insights of Action Line Research and Innovation (AL R&I) Board at Arqus Annual Conference 2023 in Graz
|17 Apr 2023
|17 Apr 2023
Presented by Joachim Reidl, Vice-Rector of Research at the University of Graz and co-chair of the AL R&I Board.
Plans for Action Line R&I include boosting research cooperation of a higher order, bench-learning to advance in the reform of research assessment and the possible creation of an inter-university research institution acting as a lighthouse.
Watch the live session:
The Board members of the newly founded Action Line Research & Innovation met on 4th April to start planning the work programme of the Action Line, after a debriefing by each Work Package belonging to their AL.
Their starting point were the priorities established by Arqus Rectors for the R&I dimension of the Alliance, in order to increase the combined impact of partner universities:
Working on this foundation, the Board members of the Action Line Research and Innovation discussed the following plans for the Action Line R&I:
Fostering higher-order joint Arqus research projects, with a strong focus on interdisciplinarity, by:
Board members also discussed the usefulness of entering into a dialogue with freshly appointed professors on their needs for incentives for the development of their research networks within Arqus, especially in the first five to ten years which usually determine the networks of a researcher for the rest of their professional career.
The endeavour of further intensifying research collaborations builds on prior researcher networking activities in the first three and a half years of the Alliance: 14 researcher networking events (4 Large Workshops, 8 Research Focus Fora and 2 Bridging Workshops) with a total of around 400 researchers, plus more than 200 short exchange visits of PhDs and their supervisors to counterparts at Arqus partners. Additional joint initiatives that received funding since the beginning of the Alliance include 18 projects under H2020 and 5 under Horizon Europe (numbers of Cluster Map as of June 2022, update pending) (See Fact Sheet April 2023).
Joint Research Action Plan as reference document
The Joint Research Action Plan (JRAP) of the Arqus Alliance is the reference document showing the commitments and joint plans of Arqus universities in the dimension of Research and Innovation at different points in time. Its first version was approved in April 2022, next update due in in May 2023.
Specifically in the case of MSCA Fellowships, in order to increase the probability of success of applications, they agreed that Arqus should actively support the search for the most adequate matching of supervisors with fellowship applicants, taking advantage of the exponentially increased pool of researchers available within the Alliance.
Research assessment reform
Arqus partner universities are invited to join the University of Graz in a bench-learning exercise on what is called in the CoARA agreement “alternative research assessment”, as this university is starting a pilot phase in the application of new assessment criteria both for individual researchers and research units.
Joint publications: Visibility of Arqus research and innovation results in the scientific community
It needs to be clarified when and how it would be suitable to mention the affiliation of researchers to Arqus as an Alliance in joint research papers, additionally to the affiliation to each partner university.
Long-term perspective: “Super-institute” as lighthouse
In a long-term perspective, the Action Line Board R&I also discussed their willingness to continue collaborating beyond Arqus II, regardless of funding sources. The main proposal here was the creation of a “super-institute”, an inter-university research institution funded jointly by the nine universities, acting as a lighthouse initiative.
This would give high visibility to Arqus both internally and externally and might be favourable for further funding applications by Arqus as an Alliance.
Arqus professorships could be part of this inter-university initiative.
Measuring progress in “building the R&I community” in the Arqus Alliance
Finally, Board members discussed the need to measure progress achieved, both towards the Alliance’s objectives and in relation to national and European funding agencies’ expectations. They agreed on the need to reflect on setting a baseline and establishing adequate indicators.