Deadline: Extended to 27 June at 23:59 UTC
The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is an international membership organisation dedicated to working with its 500+ member universities across 50 countries to build a better would through higher education.
Supporting research is a key pillar in this overarching mission. However, an unequal global research system is challenging the extent to which research systems and structures can be conducive to supporting excellent and diverse research that can meet the societal challenges we face locally, nationally, and internationally.
To address this imbalance the ACU works with its diverse membership to strengthen research, including through skills and capacity development of individual researchers, strengthening institutional research support structures, and facilitating a strengthened evidence-based policy and practice ecosystem.
There is growing recognition of the importance of research for addressing global challenges and with this, a growing interest from global and national funders in supporting research functions in universities to maximise the impact of their research on society. Therefore, there is also increasing pressure on universities to achieve this impact, and the ACU is hearing from members that there is a need for more projects and initiatives that support this agenda.
To enable ACU members to meet this challenge and building on the ACU’s track record in this area, the ACU is planning to develop an overarching strategy to support research functions, processes, and systems with our members across the Commonwealth.
To support this strategy development, the ACU would like to appoint a research strategy/management/services expert with international experience to conduct a review of the current support structures for research and provide recommendations on how the ACU can continue to strengthen the research capacity of universities across the Commonwealth. This work will be done in close partnership with the ACU’s membership, programmes, and business development unit, as well as the ACU’s Supporting Research Community (SRC) Steering Committee.
Scope of work
A consultant will be appointed to undertake a scoping study that will inform how the ACU can best support the research functions of its member universities across the Commonwealth. Historically, the ACU has supported research at member universities through programmes and initiatives designed to strengthen capacity for research strategy and policy, research management and research uptake. In addition, the ACU brings together staff at member universities who are involved in supporting the research process through the ACU SRC. In order to support the capacity strengthening of research offices and staff, the SRC brings together colleagues from across the Commonwealth and creates a space for sharing knowledge, experience and good practice, discussing issues and solutions, showcasing ideas, and discovering potential avenues for collaboration. The scoping study will be conducted in July-August 2021 and build on the ACU’s track record in supporting research and leverage the experience and expertise of the ACU SRC.
The primary recipient of the work will be the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). Beyond the primary recipient, this work will be shared with the ACU SRC Steering Committee, ACU SRC members, and with partners and stakeholders working with the ACU in this area.
The purpose of the scoping study is to inform the ACU’s strategy to support research management functions, processes, and systems across the Commonwealth.
Objectives of this scoping study are:
Applicants should propose a methodology and a tentative work schedule that delivers the objectives within scope of work.
The ACU welcomes applications that include participatory approaches during both project inception and implementation.
The post-holder will be required to deliver the following:
Please submit the following documents to Keren.Elton@acu.ac.uk by 23:59 UTC on 27 June 2021:
Evaluation criteria for applications
This assignment will require a researcher or small team of researchers, who will work in close collaboration with the ACU.
The criteria for the evaluation of applications is: