This year’s Research Collaboration Group meeting was hosted by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The meeting was productive and well-attended by research support and research development staff from across the U21 network. It also included a 2-day training workshop on accessing European Research and Innovation funding.
‘The workshop complemented the aims of the RCG and helped bring a fuller experience to the programme and people who attended the 2019 meeting. I anticipate that the workshop will lead to new interactions between U21 members; attendees were able to identify very practical options for taking part in European funding and connect with each other to take those up.’ - Xavier Rodde, new Chair of the RCG
The training sessions were designed to introduce European funding schemes to non-EU universities, such as Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The sessions covered the Marie Skłodowska Curie schemes as well as Horizon 2020; it further provided an overview of Horizon Europe and what non-EU organisations should expect. The training workshop was also attended by academics and staff from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile who were invited to an ‘ask the experts’ session which provided more bespoke advice on how to apply for EU funding, as a non-EU partner.
'Presenting on Horizon2020 funding possibilities from a non EU-perspective helped participants identify and understand the needs of researchers and research Universities from outside of the EU. This is an important aspect of our job in order to better understand the complex funding landscape and to successfully inform, motivate and support researchers in the application process.'
– Agatha Keller, University of Zurich, Training Workshop Facilitator
The RCG meeting saw the handover of chairship from Denise Clark (University of Maryland) to Xavier Rodde (University of Birmingham). Denise was (and still is) the longest-standing member of the group who established the RCG to instigate collaborative research funding partnerships. Her hard work and persistence has created solid foundations from which the group will continue to grow and develop. Xavier Rodde looks forward to ‘Helping the RCG grow as a dynamic community of research professionals that members recognise as valuable to their work, respective team, and institution.’
Themes from the RCG meeting included sharing research funding landscapes in U21 member countries, and a workshop focused on the group’s activities moving forwards.
‘This was my first RCG meeting. I came into the room wondering how U21 will support my goals and the goals of the university...It was the last day that really inspired and excited me. How we can we make an impact through the tools and resources that we develop and how we can exchange with other groups to align goals and have a broader impact. I like the direction the group is going and am eager to remain part of RCG.’- Meeting Participant
Thank you to Maria Elena Boisier and Catalina Gerstmann from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile for hosting the 2019 meeting. The group look forward to next year’s meeting which will be hosted by Waseda University in Tokyo.