Developing incentives for societal collaboration for a university
Paper i proceeding, 2017
For most research funding agencies it has become increasingly important to demonstrate the effects of investment in research and the impact generated in society. In addition, universities experience higher expectations from partners to bring forward relevant and useful results. Jointly, these aspects push uni-versities to put ”societal collaboration” higher on its agenda.
This is natural for Chalmers University of Technology which has a long tradition of being a collabora-tion-oriented university where collaborations with society occur in many different forms, ranging from educating industrial Ph.D. students to strategic, long-term agreements with key partners.
If greater interaction between university and society is to be achieved, there is a need for different orga-nizational models that allows the university to direct its operations in order to further strengthen and develop its collaborative activities. Chalmers has taken important steps to enable and facilitate such collaboration activities through the establishment of the new model for faculty funding and the priori-tization of ”Effective utilisation” as one of the four main objectives for the university.
Over the past two years, the university has run the MuCh-project (Model for monitoring and develop-ment of collaboration activitities at Chalmers) with the purpose of generating models and methods that incentivise and at the same time allows for continuous development and monitoring of such collabora-tive actitivities to enable qualitative discussions. The project has taken a holistic approach to cover the entire organisational width of the university; individuals, education programs, research departments, Areas of Advance, competence center formations and strategic partners to further societal collaborative efforts.
In this paper, you find three deliverables of the MuCh-project focusing on different levels of the organi-sation (management-, department- and individual-level):
› Establishing relevant key performance indicators
› Providing support in developing utilisation strategies
› Creating clear incentives for individuals
These deliverables jointly support building necessary structures to ensure a continuous focus on societal collaboration activities in both education and research.
There are many lessons that can be drawn from an extensive project as the MuCh-project where the intention has been to generate large-scale organisational changes. However, there are four lessons that have been critical for the success of the project:
› Securing a broader applicability of existing models
› Importance of continuous anchoring efforts
› Differentiate between monitoring and distribution of funds