The value of collaboration in research (Arts and Humanities) Dr Peter Kahn Educational Development Division
A research collaboratory
A trans-disciplinary research programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Facebook group - Columbia University Oral History Research Office
The growth of collaboration as see through the Science Citation Index, from Katz and Hicks (1995)
Role profile - Research Grade 9 Lead and develop external networks for example with other active researchers and leading thinkers in the field. Develop links with external contacts such as other educational and research bodies, employers, professional bodies and other providers of funding and research initiatives to foster collaboration and generate income. Lead teams within areas of responsibility. Ensure that teams within the department work together. Act to resolve conflicts within and between teams.
Context Research involves work at the boundaries of what is possible. Troublesome activity initially alien, counter-intuitive and hard to master. Emergent working outputs cannot be fully specified at the outset; scope for new direction or multiple products to emerge.
What is collaboration? two or more parties from potentially disparate settings working together to achieve a common (academic) goal (adapted from Walsh and Kahn, 2009)
A model for collaborative working in higher education Social vehicles Academic goals Personal engagement Professional dialogues Shared practice
Social vehicles the underlying social basis for working together, whether manifested through a formal organisation, an informal agreement, agreed roles, shared practices, regular patterns of meeting, events, relationships. Advantages exist to using existing social infrastructure. Attention needs to be paid to this underlying basis.
Professional dialogues Collaboration often involve working across differences in expertise, knowledge, culture,... dialogue can ensure cohesion, trust, mutual understanding and so on. Our context suggests that a premium is placed on understanding: dialogue provides a basis for understanding and new insights.
Personal engagement Underlying concerns - maximising performance, social ideals, communication? A role can catalyse engagement offering contact between social structure and agency. Capacity for joint action - McIntyre and Dweck Securing insight - reflexivity, attention and dialogue
Exercises (1) Stories from prior experiences of working collaboratively where persistence was required, discussion resulted in insight, or a social vehicle made the difference? In pairs, introduce your research interests to each other. Can you identify any common interests in areas that would benefit from collaboration?
Exercises (2) Complete the planning template. To what extent might the planned collaboration assist the impact of your research whether on society, the economy, your field or your career? Who does this planned collaboration connect you to?
References Katz, J. and Hicks, D. (1995) Questions of collaboration, Nature 375, 99. Walsh L and Kahn P (2009) Collaborative working in higher education, Routledge, London.