October 7, 2015
Bernardo Rondelli
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Transdisciplinary research projects: a matter of evaluation or education?

During a review of a series of research project proposals, I quite frequently came across the phrase: ‘…and the project proposes a truly transdisciplinary approach’.  The word ‘truly’ caught my attention and prompted me to raise a discussion about what a transdisciplinary, multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary approach means in research. In the common view, multidisciplinarity draws on knowledge from different disciplines but stays within their boundaries. Interdisciplinarity analyses, synthesises and harmonises links between disciplines into a coordinated and coherent whole. Transdisciplinarity transcends their ...
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May 15, 2015
Sabine Plaud
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The project-based funding model in research: what impact on contemporary research? 2/2

PART 2: WHY WE SHOULD BE HAPPY WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETITIVE MODELS IN RESEARCH FUNDING AND HOW WE COULD MAKE THE MOST OF IT After detailing the criticism that may (sometimes rightly) be directed at a funding model in which research is funded on a competitive basis after a process of selective project evaluation, I will now examine how this model can be ‘saved’, covering its potential advantages, how to neutralise its potential damaging effects and under what conditions it might in ...
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April 14, 2015
Sabine Plaud
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The project-based funding model in research: what impact on contemporary research? 1/2

PART 1: HOW SORRY SHOULD WE FEEL ABOUT COMPETITIVE MODELS IN RESEARCH FUNDING? If we sketch a typology of research funding possibilities for an individual researcher or for a team, we can identify the following models: Permanent funding to a scientific team/structure/laboratory by a national research organism (e.g. the French CNRS); Public funding from a public research council (regional, national or transnational) for the implementation of a given research project (e.g., the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the UK Research Council, the European Research Council, the ...
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October 7, 2014
José Luis Mateos
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Regional Development in Europe and ERC Advanced Grants in Social Sciences and Humanities

The European Research Council (ERC) marks a new approach to investing in frontier research in Europe. Funded through the European Community’s seventh framework programme (FP7) as the implementation of the ‘Ideas’ specific programme, the ERC aims to reinforce excellence, dynamism and creativity in European research by funding investigator-driven projects of the highest quality at the frontiers of knowledge [1]. The “Ideas” specific programme’s budget implemented by the ERC is EUR 7.5 billion over a period of seven years. It represents around 15% ...
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June 4, 2014
Débora Zurro and Jorge Caro
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Gender and Research: an introduction to the debate

For some time now, awareness has been growing at various responsible institutions regarding the need to implement effective measures to eliminate the differential participation of women and men in R&D&I. Proof of this is the incorporation in recent years of Research programmes specifically aimed at Gender issues as part of the Science policy of the EU and its member countries. These issues present many dimensions referring to women as both a subject of knowledge and agents of knowledge, meaning as integral ...
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May 19, 2014
José Luis Mateos
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U-Multirank: SIRIS Academic first impressions

After the contentious launching of the European Comission-powered U-Multirank, press and stakeholders have raised their voice with both positive and negative comments on the system. We have also decided to put forward our preliminar views on U-Multirank in this post. Last Tuesday 13 May, the European Commission officially launched the U-Multirank, an international higher education ranking that allows “users to compare the performance of institutions” out of 30 indicators “across five dimensions of higher education and research activities: a) teaching and learning, ...
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February 24, 2014
Victor Pascual
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Data Visualisation: a discipline to make sense of scientific production

Data visualisation has become fashionable over the last few years: many newspapers such as the New York Times use it prominently in their articles, political parties and companies apply it as a communication tool and scientific articles regularly include it as part of their argumentation and analysis. Nevertheless, within many contexts data visualisation is still perceived as a "design tool" used to present and communicate data in a fancy way, closer related to word processing than to research per se. In ...
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November 27, 2013
Naël Desaldeleer
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How to speak the language of French Higher Education and Research Part 2: Glossary

With its grandes écoles, non selective universités and ever increasing number of acronyms, the French system of Higher Education and Research has always been difficult to understand. However, even France seems willing to try to change. This does not mean that no new acronyms have been invented (PRES, FCS, IDEX, CGI, etc.), but it does mean that France has prepared itself to enter the global landscape of Higher Education and Research. In 2011, after five years of reforms, a new landscape ...
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November 27, 2013
Naël Desaldeleer
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How to speak the language of French Higher Education and Research Part 1: Translating the reforms of 2011

With its grandes écoles, non selective universités and ever increasing number of acronyms, the French system of Higher Education and Research has always been difficult to understand. However, even France seems willing to try to change. This does not mean that no new acronyms have been invented (PRES, FCS, IDEX, CGI, etc.), but it does mean that France has prepared itself to enter the global landscape of Higher Education and Research. In 2011, after five years of reforms, a new landscape ...
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September 16, 2013
José Luis Mateos
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The crisis in the Humanities: a matter of numbers

Welcome to the first publication of SIRIS Lab. Interested in the narrative of decline existing within the Humanities, José Luis Mateos has been trying to determine the scope of the crisis. In the following post he offers his views on the topic, highlighting how statistics play a major role in assessing the phenomenon. The Humanities are in crisis, or at least that is what some voices have been claiming recently. But this story is hardly new. Back in 1964, J. H. Plumb published ...
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