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EUIMA - Collaborative Research

EUIMA “Collaborative research” is a two-year project which will contribute to the development of monitoring tools and indicators for the assessment of university-based collaborative research. In addition, the project will aim at identifying the necessary requirements and adjustments that universities need to make in terms of human resource profiles (researchers, managers, etc.) to take forward and support the development of collaborative research and increase the attractiveness of university careers, both in research and in managing the partnership.

The project builds on experience from previous and current EUA work looking at building strong relationships between universities and industry for doctoral education and the professional insertion of PhD holders (DOC-CAREERS & the current project DOC-CAREERS II) as well as at the exchange of best practice in collaborative research through the Responsible Partnering Initiative. Following the EUA study “Regions of Knowledge”, the project will address the specificities of regional contexts.

Project Objectives

EUIMA will review the current state of play in the assessment of collaborative research, and the adequacy of the indicators and monitoring tools with respect to the missions of universities. It will assess the broader framework of research assessment, its strategic importance and its relation to enhancing competitiveness of research in the region. The workshops will highlight concrete and hands-on examples of universities which are using their measurement tools effectively.

Specifically, the main aims of the EUIMA-Collaborative Research project are to:

  • Identify, in selected projects, the indicators for the success of collaborative research that were agreed by the university and external partners at the beginning of a research project, and the measurement tools designed to monitor progress towards achieving the project’s aims and objectives
  • Determine the specificity of measurement tools to the precise nature of the collaborative research in its particular context and the degree to which they are transferable to other contexts - in consultation with all the stakeholders involved, universities, external partners and users
  • Support universities who wish to strengthen their collaborative research through promotion of good practices in relation to different external partners, business enterprises, regional authorities, non-government organisations, civil society organisations etc.
  • Reflect on the experience of such good practices collected on a “bottom-up” basis, to establish a dialogue with the stakeholders on the results of the European Commission DG Research Expert Group’s work on the development of a “multi-dimensional” research assessment tool for feedback and further refinement.

The professional development of human resources in universities for research managers and the competitiveness and attractiveness of university careers will also be addressed. Contributors will be invited to share their practices, concerns and plans for the future in these respects and specific attention will be paid to: i) the professional profiles of both researchers and managers that universities need to develop effectively in their collaborative research; ii) the ways and means to their recruitment and retention; iii) the ways they help researchers and staff to develop the necessary knowledge and skills, such as internal/external support, working groups and training (e.g. on project management and IPR management).

By the end of the project, a range of potential indicators for the assessment of collaborative research will be identified and recommendations made for the necessary adjustments in universities in terms of human resources for successful academic-non-academic partnerships. The project outcomes will also serve as a basis for further critical dialogue in university assessment exercises and ranking methodologies, and specifically for testing the feasibility of multidimensional assessment schemes.

Past Events

Workshop 1: Leuphana University
Lüneburg, Germany
5-6 October 2010

Workshop 2: Tampere University of Technology (TUT)
Tampere, Finland
22-23 February 2011

Workshop 3: Karlstad University
Karlstad, Sweden
12-13 May 2011

Workshop 4: Politecnico di Torino
Torino, Italy
8-9 November 2011

Workshop 5: University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
5-6 December 2011

Special Session for EUA membership during EUA Annual Conference
University of Warwick, United Kingdom
22 March 2012

EUIMA Project Final Event
Horizon 2020 and the modernisation of European universities –
Dialogue with European policy makers
Brussels, Belgium
10 May 2012


Main activities of this project will be i) collecting case studies from university professors and leaders describing their views and experiences and ii) eight workshops at European level to foster sharing and exchange of good practice. EUA aims at involving as much as possible the external partners collaborating with universities to bring their views into the dialogue. According to each specific situation and context, EUA will seek contributors and participants with relevant professional profiles such as university leaders and managers, researchers, teachers, industry managers/researcher, government officials, representatives of professional bodies, etc.

The bottom-up and good practice approach of this project will be crucial in assessing the generality or specificity of measurement and performance indicators in collaborative research and the necessary adjustments in human resources for better framework conditions to foster collaborative research.

Call for participation

There is an open call for universities to contribute with case studies to the identification and sharing of good practice in the development of their collaborative research with external partners (such as business enterprises, Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs), regional authorities, professional bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), charities and civil society organisations in general). For full details about the call, click here.


Dr Lidia Borrell-Damian, Head of Unit, Research Partnerships,

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96