Research beyond borders

Transatlantic platform for the social sciences and humanities (T-AP)

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TAPCatchy title? Well maybe not, but this platform has a mission you might be interested in – to increase research collaboration between Europe and the Americas in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Funded by the European Commission, a group of funders from across Europe and the Americas are working together to explore how to enable greater research collaboration. Current partners are based in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, USA and UK (both AHRC and ESRC) and T-AP is looking to build on the successes of existing relationships, and the experiences of the European networks HERA  and NORFACE .

So what are we actually doing? Well basically lots of research, networking and scoping – this is a vital part of trans national collaboration –  in order to launch any successful future activity we need to build relationships and work out how we, as funders, can work together so we create effective opportunities and  this week is a busy one for the platform! We have our first scoping workshop taking place in London – led by AHRC and ESRC  – academics from across the world will be debating the topic ‘Diversity, (in)equalities and differences’ where we hope to get a clear sense of the research priorities in this area as well as discussing other issues such as gaps, capacity building and the fact that Europe and the Americas are very varied geographic areas.

Immediately following this we have a joint learning workshop with research funders from across HERA, NORFACE and T-AP discussing knowledge exchange and valourisation. The idea and practice of enabling collaboration across academic and non-academic partners, and how this can be articulated and measured is of increasing significance across the world as funders make the case for the future of research funding. This workshop is the first time we have ‘networked’ the networks, with 22 countries represented we hope it will be a really interesting and engaging forum to discuss different approaches and ideas.

What happens next? The platform has another 15 months of funding – we have two more scoping workshops, Exploring Multidisciplinary Research (with a focus on the Environment) in Brazil and Resilient Societies in Germany. We have also been scoping out the area of Digital Scholarship as a pilot – we are now exploring a collaboration with Digging into Data, expanding  participation, which we hope will be the first T-AP funding opportunity.

And finally if you are also interested in collaboration between India and Europe, this blog article covers a similar platform both AHRC and ESRC are also involved in.

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