In UIA’s Strategy 2016-2020, our vision is co-creation of knowledge, with the priority areas Learning and Education for the Future, Global Mindset, and Community Involvement and Innovation. The Board has determined that a development plan for research and academic and artistic development work shall also be developed (the R&D/FoU plan). This is to last throughout the strategy period duration, until 2027, and is closely connected to UIA’s strategy. The R&D plan is to function as a long-term tool in the development of research, and academic and artistic development work. Study-related development work is not covered by this plan, but is part of the priority area Learning and education for the future.
Vision for 2027
What kind of university do we want to be in 10 years’ time? In the following chapters, a plan is presented for how the structures surrounding research, academic, and artistic development can be built in order to equip the university and our employees to provide research with the best possible conditions for growth. If we manage this, we will be able to achieve our vision, which is an UIA in 2027 that looks like this:
UIA has developed research of high, international quality in several areas.
UIA has further developed solid and wide-ranging research expertise which forms the basis of all of our educational pathways
UIA is an inspiring workplace and career development arena for researchers. UIA offers working conditions which facilitate research, academic, and artistic development work.
UIA is still closely connected to regional industry and commerce and economic life, whilst simultaneously several environments are well-known or internationally leading.
Several research environments have achieved the status of national centres under The Research Council of Norway.
Several research environments are partners in large, European projects, and a number of these are coordinated by UIA.
The research and study portfolios are closely connected, and bachelor’s and master’s students are an important resource in the research activities of most research groups.
We have both a working culture and an organisation that promotes collaboration across different academic disciplines, internally and externally.
We are known for a strong research environment within learning-related research.
In order to achieve this vision, the R&D work at UIA for the next ten years will be characterised by the following: UIA must have a culture in which researchers and research groups can develop in the best possible fashion. Our culture must be characterised by openness and sharing – it should be natural to make use of the knowledge of others, and across subject divisions or roles in the organisation. The research groups will be the core unit where research development takes place. We collaborate effectively across department and Faculty lines, and with our regional, national and international collaborative partners. UIA shall be known to provide good development opportunities for young, ambitious researchers in the early stages of their careers. This will be achieved through affiliation with a well-run research group, positive support from the administration and management, and satisfactory access to relevant research infrastructure. The administrative support should be professional and organised as a value chain with an efficient division of labour between the Faculty administration and the central administration.
The plan shall provide a basis for the formulation of concrete, annual action plans at Faculty/unit level in the years to come. The plan will be revised after four years.
The R&D plan’s structure
The R&D plan is built up around six thematic chapters or action areas structured around three questions: Where are we today? Where do we want to be? What must be done to get us there? Research groups are the first action area. The university management see strong, resilient research groups as a foundation for the career development of the researchers and research activity at the institution. Belonging, collaboration and networks are important. Facilitating for this will benefit all research groups, regardless of size or level of ambition.
In UIA’s future development, recruitment and the opportunity for career development are highly important themes. A large proportion of our staff will retire during the course of the next ten years. Who we recruit, which criteria we base recruitment upon, and how we facilitate good career development at UIA, will have a great deal of influence on our ability to succeed with the positive development of the research activity. These themes will therefore be dealt with in the next chapter.
In the third chapter, the theme of education and research will be addressed in context. As a university, the connection between research and education is essential, and this, to a great extent, demonstrates our quality as an institution. This is of particular significance for our largest educational programmes, such as vocational and teacher training.
One element that characterises some of best research environments in 2017 is a significant degree of interdisciplinary work. New collaborative constellations can be advantageous for innovation and development. It is desirable to build this up and to reduce impediments as far as it is possible. Interdisciplinary cooperation is therefore the fourth action area to be addressed in the plan.
The last two chapters are about administrative support for research and research infrastructure. A professional support network, both in the form of personnel and equipment, will affect our chances of obtaining funds for research projects and collaboration internally and with others.
In the development of the plan, we have also taken a look back on how UIA has developed over the last ten years, and how we predict that the world around us will change. These two chapters are included in the attachment.