Nature India | Indigenus

Collaboration tips

What are the most common challenges that collaborators doing science in two different countries face? And what are the best practices to overcome such challenges? A joint study by the UK Science and Innovation Network, India’s department of science and technology and Research Councils UK identifies these challenges and offers some solutions in the context of such collaborations between India and the UK.

It is suprising to note that lack of awareness about the right partners and poor access to them still happen to be important reasons why people working on similar research projects fail to find each other. One would have thought that in the age of internet, social media and various other helpful web tools, tracking research or people would not be such an issue. Other issues such as visa problems, funding constraints, cultural, contextual and policy-related barriers are discussed at length in the report.

Academics feel there’s a lack of incentives in international collaborations, especially for early career researchers. Also, how does one measure the impact of such research beyond economic assessment?

The good thing about the report is that it does not stop at the questions. Some of the recommendations it makes to make life simple for collaborating scientists are worth a look. Considering that the report was compiled from experiences of collaborators and a lot of case studies, it may be recommended to all aspiring collaborators as a preliminary handbook.

A similar report on innovation projects can be found here.


  1. Report this comment

    Neil said:

    Indeed, one might think that finding people and research is not a problem in ‘the age of the internet’. The problem is not the technology, it’s the people – and their complete unwillingness to use the technology.