Managing Research

Managing Research

Managing Research

Managing Research

Synopsis

Research is a longstanding and well-recognized function of universities but in recent years the research context has altered dramatically, and research policy, funding and management have become ever more complex. This book helps us to understand the changes in and complexity of managing research in universities.

The book is based on Robert Bushaway's dozen years experience of leading a Research and Enterprise Services office in a major UK research-led university. He addresses such key questions as:

• How should research in universities be organized, supported and managed?
• How should external funding be obtained?
• What are the operational difficulties universities face in seeking research grants or in research contracting and how can these be overcome?

Managing Research provides practical help and guidance to researchers, research directors and heads of department, research managers, administrators, senior university managers, research support professionals and other higher education staff with responsibilities for research at strategic levels. It is the authoritative and comprehensive guide to this complex field.

Excerpt

Post-secondary educational institutions can be viewed from a variety of different perspectives. For most of the students and staff who work in them they are centres of learning and teaching in which the participants are there by choice and consequently, by and large, work very hard. Research has always been important in some higher education institutions, but in recent years this emphasis has grown, and what for many was a great pleasure and, indeed, a treat, is becoming more of a threat and an insatiable performance indicator, which just has to be met. Maintaining the correct balance between quality research and learning/teaching, while the unit of resource, at best, holds steady, is one of the key issues facing us all. Educational institutions as work places must be positive and not negative environments.

From another aspect, post-secondary educational institutions are clearly communities, functioning to all intents and purposes like small towns and internally requiring and providing a similar range of services, while also having very specialist needs. From yet another, they are seen as external suppliers of services to industry, commerce and the professions. These ‘customers’ receive, inter alia: a continuing flow of well qualified, fresh graduates with transferable skills; parttime and short course study opportunities through which to develop existing employees; consultancy services to solve problems and help expand business; and research and development support to create new breakthroughs. It is an unwise UK educational institution which ignores this aspect, which is now given a very high priority by the UK Government.

However, educational institutions are also significant businesses in their own right. One recent study shows that higher education institutions alone are worth £35 billion a year to the UK economy.

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