The RECIRCULATE “Entrepreneurship & Innovation” workpackage Senior Researcher Associate, Dr Joana Pais Zózimo, was invited to deliver a talk at the University Nova, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT), on 15th June 2021 under the Global Health and Tropical Medicine Research Centre sessions.
The series is part of a wider initiative encouraged and led by IHMT’s work in the emerging field of “research partnerships”, building upon IHMT’s historical work within the Lusophone countries and benefiting from collaborations with other leading institutions in the field of health research in low and middle-income countries.
Under the scope of the Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED), they share learning and best practices on how to build, develop, and sustain more equitable and fair research partnerships (FRP). The concept of FRP is a cross-cutting issue that aims to ensure that North/South partnerships on health research are carried out in a symmetrical way. It integrates and develops innovative research on partnership development and sustainability; carries out inter- and trans-disciplinary teaching and learning, and knowledge management; and strengthens their partnership and commitment with the Fair Research Initiative.
IHMT has engaged with Lancaster University, as part of the official partnership with Universidade Nova, where RECIRCULATE has been widely disseminated.
In her talk, Joana presented a brief overview of her main study submitted to a high-ranked top journal, entitled: Developing an Individual-Based Social Practice Approach to International Partnerships.
The presentation focused on the following aspects:
- Situated context (Anglophone vs Lusophone Africa)
- Engagement and Knowledge Exchange encounters in a multicultural situated context (RECIRCULATE).
- Social Practice approach towards Equitable and Fair Research Partnerships (e.g. fair research contracting)
- Transdisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Collaborations as occasions of influence
- Evaluation of STIIPs (Strategic Transdisciplinary/Interdisciplinary International Partnerships)
This study widens the scope of the inter-organisational collaboration (IOC) debate by proposing a new theoretical construct – individual dynamic collaborative practice (IDCP) – to advance understanding of the role of individuals in enacting IOC for supporting research organisations. While IOC has been widely researched for performance purposes, there have been few empirical investigations about the individual’s role in initiating, enacting, and strengthening collaboration between two or more organisations, i.e. IOC. This research offers a new conceptualization of IOC, as a social practice, that occurs through engagement and is situated within a multi-stakeholder community of individuals. Based on a qualitative study of a transdisciplinary international partnership in West Africa, forty-five academics, practitioners, entrepreneurs, and research users participated in the study to articulate and make sense of their practice of IOC over time.
The session was well received and follow up meetings have been taking place between Lancaster and Nova researchers, to further explore how to rethink research collaboration and fair research contracting.