SNIS Research Reports

SNIS Research Report - Funding International Studies in Europe

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This study was mandated by the Swiss Network for International Studies in order to get a better understanding of the funding available for academic projects in International Studies in Europe. This exercise, which was undertaken by Dr Maria-Ruxandra Stoicescu (independent researcher and consultant), therefore serves two purposes: situating SNIS' activity in the broader landscape of European funding for social science research, and understanding the place and importance of International Studies projects in the panoply of funding schemes available for social science in Europe.

The SNIS occupies a particular place in the academic funding landscape in Europe as it focuses its financial support on a specific set of projects, which are international and interdisciplinary in scope. One of the main findings concerning the aforementioned questions is that the SNIS uses an approach that blends and integrates various aspects of international research while a more mainstream approach - used generally in Europe - is one that favours the internationalisation of research, in the shape of teams made of researchers from several countries looking at the same issues in different contexts. Hence, the international is understood and practiced differently.

Another key dimension considered was interdisciplinarity. While in the case of the SNIS interdisciplinarity is a compulsory requirement, in many other funding programmes throughout Europe it is mostly optional. A general finding is that the SNIS does not only fulfil a particular administrative and intellectual function in academic research funding, but also upholds a certain perspective on what International Studies are.


The Afterlife of Academic Research Projects - A Primer

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What happens to academic research projects once they reach conclusion? Are the publications, websites and conferences they give rise to the end all of the efforts invested in their realization, or do they continue to exist in different forms, such as continued cooperation between project members, development of new projects, perpetration of their results and practices?

The study commissioned by SNIS, and authored by Dr. Maria-Ruxandra Stoicescu, “The Afterlife of Academic Research Projects – A primer”, looks into five instances in which academic research projects funded by the Geneva International Academic Network continued to exist and develop after their formal conclusion.

The analysis identified five indicators most often present in projects that continued their existence after their formal conclusion:

  • dissemination strategy, events
  • another project derived from the initial one
  • institutionalisation and thus consolidation of the project strategies and aims in further actions
  • elaboration and perpetuation of practices in the given area of research
  • further use of the materials and tools elaborated as part of the project
  • further collaboration between team members and institutions of the initial project

The indicator most often encountered was a dissemination strategy of results and the organization of further events related to the project. The indicator most seldom encountered was further collaboration between team members and institutions of the initial project. This later finding points to the vulnerable feature of cooperative research projects in international studies.

The report also suggests a set of elements to be taken into account in the evaluation of project proposals in international studies and in addressing issues of project continuation after formal conclusion.

SNIS Research Report - Patterns of Collaboration between Academia and International Organizations

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This study, commissioned by the Swiss Network of International Studies and authored by Dr. Maria Ruxandra Stoicescu, constitutes a map-out of the encounters between International Organisations (IOs) and Academia, as they occur in the different forms of collaboration that bring these two communities together. As the report details, collaboration between academia and international organisations occurs at various levels and stages. Contrary to what one might expect, the different forms of collaboration do not arise naturally and are mostly based on proximity or funding. The report highlights that individual and institutional purposeful efforts are crucial in initiating and maintaining collaborations.

The report features following key findings:

  • There are five categories of collaboration, from the least to most intense as follows : the provision of expert knowledge, the consultancy, teaching and training programmes, project-based collaboration, and institutional collaboration. One form of collaboration might lead to another.
  • None of these forms arise naturally, based on proximity or funding, which are necessary but not sufficient conditions for collaborations. Individual and institutional purposeful efforts are crucial in initiating and maintaining collaborations.
  • Coincidence of interests and research agendas are sine qua non conditions for successful collaborations.
  • Informal relationships are just as important as formal ones in advancing collaborations.