Project Leader: Professor Elizabeth Eakin (Associate Dean Research)
Project Coordinator: Ms Sarah Flaim (Research Partnerships Manager)


Project Background and Outcomes

Current situation

The current project is concerned with strengthening the Faculty’s collaboration capability. Collaborations are recognized as being fundamental to the success of the Faculty’s research agenda for the years ahead. There are opportunities for the Faculty to get better at how it identifies, qualifies and assesses and engages in research partnerships.

The Strategic Plan outlines the following critical success factors for achieving excellence in collaborations:

  • Developing a deep and accurate understanding of the ambitions, interests and needs of the Faculty’s existing partners – getting to know and understand your partners;
  • Participating actively in the process of exploring, identifying and shaping research opportunities with those partners, in a systematic and consistent manner – working collaboratively and consistently to quality opportunities;
  • Exploring interests of the Faculty that may coincide with those of new partners – proactive seeking out of new partners;
  • Cultivating the business acumen and capability essential for the translation of a research opportunity into a funded project – converting research ideas into tangible, projects that can attract funding;
  • Building the advocacy skills required to write, ‘package’ and present research propositions in a compelling manner – credible communication and ability to influence stakeholders;
  • Articulating and implementing methodologies and frameworks for consistent risk assessment and management of multi-party ventures and projects – applying an agreed approach to risk and the management of complex research partnership arrangements;
  • Using management processes and procedures that reflect a business orientation, commercial savvy, legal efficiency and administrative professionalism – build and embed ‘best practice’ in how partnerships are administered and managed from a commercial and risk perspective.

The focus of the current project is on developing and articulating a set of principles to guide an approach to research collaborations that builds on these criteria and also on current work in this space (namely the work already underway with the Faculty of Medicine Research Committee and centrally with the PVC – Research Partnerships).

Expected outcomes

The Improve Faculty Collaboration project will produce:

  1. A high-level summary of the current status of major Faculty research collaborations (intra, inter and external)
  2. A set of principles to guide the future direction of Faculty research collaborations
  3. A summary of gaps in processes or other barriers that underpin research collaboration
  4. Recommendations to address identified gaps /barriers to research collaboration.