Irish Research Council Appoints Peter Brown as Director

Posted in Research on October 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Peter Brown has been appointed as the new Director of the Irish Research Council (IRC), one of Ireland’s most important funding bodies. Brown, who has been Interim Director of the IRC since May 2017, will take up the role with immediate effect. He’ll replace Dr Eucharia Meehan, who left the position to become chief executive of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) …” (more)

[Kilian Tscherny, University Times, 18 October]

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Professors’ Productivity Declines With Age, Right? Maybe Not.

Posted in Research on October 18th, 2017 by steve

“A typical career for a tenure-track professor might look like this: Publish early and often, hit a peak after a few years, get tenure, then watch productivity decline until retirement. Given this popular perception of the scholarly arc, professors of all stripes have been evaluated at a young age by the number of published papers they produce. But a study from the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests that this assumed trajectory is mistaken …” (more)

[Julia Martinez, Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 October]


The University Is Not a Technology

Posted in Research on October 18th, 2017 by steve

“Andrew Piper and Chad Wellmon observe that a small subset of elite universities are disproportionately represented in the most prestigious journals in the literary humanities. This ‘epistemic inequality’, they write, ‘would surely be as undesirable as economic inequality. In fact, most of us would presume a relationship between the two’. No doubt they are closely related …” (more)

[Sam Fallon and Len Gutkin, Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 October]


German researchers resign from Elsevier journals in push for nationwide open access

Posted in Research on October 17th, 2017 by steve

“Five leading German scientists have resigned from their editorial positions at journals published by Elsevier, the latest step in a battle over open-access and subscription policies between the Dutch publishing giant and a consortium of German libraries, universities, and research institutes …” (more)

[Gretchen Vogel, Science, 13 October]

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Male scientists share more – but only with other men

Posted in Research on October 13th, 2017 by steve

International“Male scientists are more likely to share their published work than are women — but only with other men, a study of hundreds of researchers has found. Humans are generally considered to be a highly cooperative species, says Jorg Massen, a cognitive biologist at the University of Vienna …” (more)

[Jo Marchant, Nature, 12 October]


Research Centres Programme

Posted in Research on October 12th, 2017 by steve

IrelandJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she has given consideration to the provision of an annual funding scheme for the provision of physical infrastructure such as equipment, buildings, libraries and laboratories untied to specific centres or priority areas to further research activities in third level institutions; and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 11 October]

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Athena SWAN funding link under scrutiny in discrimination row

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues, Research on October 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Four female academics embroiled in a gender discrimination dispute are reportedly under increasing pressure to accept a settlement from their university in a case that has sparked debate about the merits of linking the Athena SWAN equality charter to research funding. The long-running dispute at the National University of Ireland, Galway has come to a head …” (more)

[Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 12 October]

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The Right Way to Argue for Basic Research

Posted in Research on October 12th, 2017 by steve

“The week before last, you may recall, I took issue with the way the country’s illustrious top university presidents (Gerforno, for short) were trying to sell higher education.  Effectively, what they were doing was selling higher education’s research mission by claiming ‘look, basic research creates jobs’ on the basis of a few anecdotes …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 12 October]


Irish Research Council welcomes long-term commitment to supporting blue sky research

Posted in Research on October 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Research Council has welcomed a long-term commitment from Government to supporting research across all disciplines and career stages in today’s Budget announcement. The Government have announced a capital allocation of €21m over the period 2018-2021 to support the development of a pipeline of researchers at all career stages and disciplines …” (more)

[Irish Research Council, 10 October]

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Belfast uni considers cross-border professorships to keep EU cash

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on October 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A top UK university is considering creating joint academic posts with institutions in the Irish Republic to ensure it still benefits from post-Brexit European research funding. Queen’s in Belfast, a member of the Russell Group of leading research-driven universities, is exploring the potential of establishing shared professorships with colleges in Dublin and elsewhere south of the Irish border …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 10 October]

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Men get most of the research funding – it’s a serious problem for women and science

Posted in Research on October 10th, 2017 by steve

“In UK universities there are far fewer women in senior posts than men – particularly at professor level. Putting aside teaching, to reach this status, an academic typically needs to have completed a considerable amount of research. Research takes time, and if people want to succeed in academia, they have to apply for funding. This is where one key difference lies …” (more)

[Michael Head, The Conversation, 10 October]

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Publishers vs ResearchGate: an academic’s view

Posted in Legal issues, Research on October 10th, 2017 by steve

International“Cast your mind back 20 years, to 1997. Tony Blair had just entered Downing Street and in the music industry CDs dominated and the A&R guy was king. Within a few short years, the internet had changed the music industry forever, through the music sharing site Napster …” (more)

[Billy Hunter, Times Higher Education, 10 October]

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Publishers seek removal of millions of papers from ResearchGate

Posted in Legal issues, Research on October 5th, 2017 by steve

International“Leading publishers are stepping up their fight against ResearchGate by ordering the academic social network to take down papers that they say infringe copyright. The move could see millions of articles removed from the site, as the publishers say up to 40% of papers on ResearchGate are copyrighted …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 5 October]

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Government should commit to joining CERN and ESO – Lawless

Posted in Research on October 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Science, Technology, Research and Development James Lawless TD has called on the Government to commit to joining the European Organization for Nuclear Research and European Southern Observatory. Deputy Lawless pointed out that membership of these organisations offers enormous benefits to Ireland …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 4 October]

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Why hasn’t e-learning transformed education?

Posted in Research on October 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This autumn, you may have seen your child start school with a shiny tablet. Your teenager may have left for university with a slim new laptop. You yourself may have enrolled on a part-time course, accessing digital resources and staying in touch through your phone or computer. Education at all levels has changed in the digital age, but transformation has been slow …” (more)

[Claire McAvinia, RTÉ, 3 October]


NUIG to digitise Conradh na Gaeilge archive

Posted in Research on October 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish language organisation Conradh na Gaeilge has presented its archive to NUI Galway. The material, which contains a range of items, will be catalogued, digitised and made available online …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 3 October]

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Bruton Launches New International Fund for Irish Universities

Posted in Research on October 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The government will give Irish universities €500,000 to promote collaboration with universities from around the world. A new fund, set to be managed by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), will make the funding available to colleges across the country …” (more)

[University Times, 2 October]

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Overeducation claims are one more attack on young people

Posted in Research on October 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“First they take the jobs. Then they take the housing. And now they target college education? The recent headline ‘Irish workers are the most overqualified in Europe’ should be treated with caution. If not, the Economic and Social Research Institution (ESRI) study to which it refers could become inadvertently the basis for another attack on the quality of life of young people …” (more)

[Colum Kenny, Irish Times, 2 October]

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REF changes could have a bad impact on mental health

Posted in Research on October 1st, 2017 by steve

“In late 2013, I led a project evaluating how universities went about preparing the impact element of their submission to the 2014 research excellence framework. As was widely reported, we estimated that the monetised costs of preparing submissions across the sector was about £55 million …” (more)

[Jonathan Grant, Times Higher Education, 28 September]

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French government proposes big science-spending boost

Posted in Research on September 30th, 2017 by steve

“French research funding is set for a heartening increase in the country’s first budget under President Emmanuel Macron, if draft 2018 plans released on 27 September are voted into law. The research portfolio of France’s ministry of higher education, research and innovation would rise by more than 6%, to €8.4 billion (US$9.9 billion) in 2018 …” (more)

[Barbara Casassus, Nature, 29 September]