Report recommends new resource for researchers involved in international collaborations

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Researchers involved in international collaborations should be offered a new resource to help them deal with potential security risks, according to a report co-authored by the University of Stirling’s Director of Research Services. 

Security related risks are defined by the sector’s umbrella body Universities UK as attempts by overseas or external actors to illegitimately acquire academic research and expertise and interfere with academic discourse.   

The vast majority of international collaborations are beneficial to the UK, but there are some risks involved and over the years these risks have become more dynamic and complex.   

The Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) UK, the membership association for research management in the UK, found 84% of research organisations had begun to adapt to the risks but just 33% believed they had completed their adjustments.  

ARMA’s report released today recommends the creation of a ‘Research Collaboration Diligence Exchange and System’ to address the unmet need. 

Co-investigator Linsey Dickson, who is the University of Stirling’s Director of Research Services, said: “Addressing societal challenges requires complex collaborations in research activity, and can involve different types of organisations, different countries, different cultures and be framed and constrained by both political and economic agendas.  

“Making it possible for these complex collaborations to deliver requires a depth of understanding with whom we are working, and the environment in which we are all are working. 

“Our report explores the current levels of preparedness, investment, barriers, and opportunities within the UK Higher Education sector in response to the to the Trusted Research and security agenda.  

“The report recommends the creation of a Research Collaboration Diligence Exchange and System to address the unmet need within the sector, bringing together existing tools, guidance, and training. 

“We also recommend the creation of further tools and training with the sector, for use by the sector.” 

For the full report visit ‘Complex Collaborations – Efficiency, Equity, Quality and Security in International Research’.