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Questionnaire and guidance to boost universities' international partnerships


Questionnaire and guidance to boost universities' international partnerships

A new questionnaire and guidance have been launched to support research organisations to develop successful international partnerships.

It is the first output of a project, led by the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to assess how establishing national due diligence services can reduce burdens placed on both lead research organisations and the organisations they are partnering with.

The questionnaire is designed to be used across the sector to ensure that all lead research organisations on UKRI grants meet the requirement to undertake due diligence on all organisations to who funds will be transferred from the grant.

While it will primarily be used by research organisations developing partnerships with low and middle-income countries it can also be used for collaborations involving other non-UK organisations.

The questionnaire is aimed at gathering the information required to provide assurance that required controls are in place for the management of international projects. It is supported by guidance to assist organisations with completing the questions and providing any additional supporting documentation.

It was developed in consultation with ARMA members from around 75 UK institutions, with 80 Research Managers from across Africa at a workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, and with input from a Challenge Group of key UK and international stakeholders.

Steven Hill, Director of Research at Research England, said: “The questionnaire is an important first output from this project, which will ultimately help to reduce burdens and barriers to international collaboration.

“Adopting the questionnaire across the Higher Education sector will help to improve efficiency for UK Higher Education Institutions and overseas partners and deliver consistency across the sector.

It is anticipated the improved efficiency will apply across the sector including the research institutes and independent research organisations that are also increasingly looking to be involved in international collaborations.

ARMA is delivering the project in collaboration with CASRAI (Consortia Advancing Standards for Research Administration and Information) and a consortium of universities and funders.

Further phases of the project will investigate the feasibility and benefits of establishing a central clearing house or national service to assist with due diligence across the UK research sector.

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