In the past days the internationalization of research strategy was launched for Columbus member universities through two meetings with research and internationalization directors of the network's member universities.
At the first meeting, on 28 May, the proposal to support the internationalization of the investigation was presented to a first group of Vice-rectors of Research and Directors of Internationals Cooperation Offices. This first meeting allowed to identify clues for the consolidation and development of the strategy in the coming months.
At the second meeting, on June 18, 35 directors, research support staff and members of the Columbus Reflection Group, as well as the Columbus Secretariat, participated.
This proposal proposes a closer cooperation between research and internationalization directors and is based on a co-creation strategy at various levels, based on four pillars:
- Direct participation of research directors to reflect and share good practices on the University's international research strategy, focused on key aspects.
- Identification of a group of "brokers" by institution, being university staff acting as key interlocutors, both outwards (with the Columbus network), and with its researchers and managers.
- Their training and accompaniment through a collaborative and iterative process, (combination of training activities to take advantage of specific opportunities for international financing).
- Building a resource bank with opportunities and strategic areas with relevant information
The interventions of the managers allowed to validate that the proposal is an integrated strategy that can be adapted to the different contexts of the universities. In addition, the relevance of having brokers capable of articulating external opportunities with their own competencies was confirmed, as well as the usefulness of network collaboration to increase participation in national and international projects with an accompaniment to the search for external funds and capacity building. It was also confirmed that greater collaboration within each university between research and international offices is needed.
In addition, some needs were expressed such as the reinforcement of the training of human talent available with a "learning by doing" approach and accompaniment to people who already fulfill a role of Broker in each university. Reinforcing the legal and regulatory training to participate in projects with external financing is also needed, as well as the usefulness of having a catalog of opportunities nurtured by the brokers.
As the proposal has just been launched, 20 Columbus member universities have adhered to the proposal and will be nominating their institutional "brokers" to begin their collaborative work. In addition, they are committed to creating a motivational strategy for their researchers and must identify barriers and possible solutions to this situation.