(13 March 2018) INASP’s AuthorAID has launched a new set of forums with a ‘Research Collaboration Space’ to help researchers, particularly in the Global South, to find international partners for research projects. The forums also provide support to help these collaborations to work.
International research collaboration is central to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, academics in the Global South struggle particularly to find suitable collaborators or funding opportunities to help catalyse their research projects, and in some cases funding calls require research partners in specific fields or regions in which they have no existing contacts.
“This new area has been created in response to a survey of members we carried out in 2017, which identified that the majority of AuthorAID members need help and support in finding collaborators,” says Andy Nobes, Programme Officer at INASP.
“Researchers in our community want to collaborate with a wide range of other stakeholders, both in-country and internationally, in their own subject area and in multi-disciplinary work,” he adds.
INASP’s AuthorAID website provides a free support platform for resources, mentoring and collaboration. This platform is currently used by over 17,000 global researchers. Over the past year, over 3,200 of these members have marked themselves as ‘open to collaboration’ in a wide number of different development topics including agriculture, healthcare/medicine, environmental sciences and business.
The new collaboration forum offers an opportunity for researchers to post details of their research projects and put out a call for collaborators. The forum has been developed with global collaboration in mind, enabling both South/South and South/North partnerships and open, equitable knowledge-sharing to solve global challenges and work towards achieving the SDGs.
“We hope the new AuthorAID collaboration forum provides the space and potential to seed discussion around research collaborations that can attract funding, develop innovative ideas, and solve global development problems,” says Andy.
“We also encourage researchers from Europe, North America, Australasia and elsewhere to sign up and join the discussion, with a view to finding and supporting potential partners,” he adds.
The announcement in full is here.