Research Projects

MITACS Research Training Award (2020-2021): Beyond academic outputs: a comparative study of research impact evaluation approaches by funding agencies in Canada, the UK and the USA.

Research funding agencies are key institutions in promoting research impact agendas, as sponsors and facilitators of research. In this paper, we identify the recent developments of research evaluation approaches among research funding agencies in Canada, the US and the UK, as a step towards understanding how evolving policies and practices in this area are fostering impacts outside academia. The findings highlight three broad patterns across countries: funders have broadly embedded the idea of ‘other’ research impacts in their mandates and strategies; while funders expect researchers to anticipate, envision and plan research impacts in their grant application, it is not clear how much of value it gives researchers in funding competition and project completion. Finally, retrospective research impact assessments are still rare among funders, with only UKRI’s agencies in the UK and SSHRC in Canada collecting research impact data. We conclude by discussing theoretical and practical implications of our findings and suggesting future areas of research.

International Collaborative Project (2019-2021): University research capacity in post-Soviet Eurasia 

Led by Maia Chankseliani (Oxford, UK), Igor Fedyukin (HSE, Russia), Isak Froumin (HSE, Russia)

Contributing a book chapter and articles in peer-reviewed journals on the case of Ukraine

The project will examine the ways in which university research capacity in the countries that were formerly a part of the Soviet Union has been evolving over the course of the last three decades.

PhD Thesis (2017 – in progress): Fostering the Values of Research: Global Norms of Research Excellence and Strategic Responses of Public Universities

The university that emerged many centuries ago primarily as a cultural and scientific supplement to society is  now considered to be the main economic engine and the key knowledge society driver. With this new role in many societies, the research mission of the university is being transformed and is considered a principal objective of national policies on research excellence and innovation (Dill and van Vught, 2009). This study explores the changing research mission of universities in Central and Eastern Europe and the implications of this transformation for societies and universities themselves.

The study draws on recent advances of sociological neo-institutionalism.  The study employs a multiple case-study research design. The following nine universities have been selected as the case studies: (1) in the Czech Republic – Charles University of Prague, Brno University of Technology, Silesian University (Opava); (2) in Poland – Jagiellonian University, the Warsaw University of Technology, the University of Opole; (3) in Ukraine – Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, National Technical University of Ukraine, Mariupol State University.

SSHRC-funded Project (2017-2022): Phase I – How and Why International Research Collaboration Becomes Policy: A Cross-National Study

Led by Dr. Creso M. Sá; Co-investigators: Emma Sabzalieva and Magdalena Martinez

There is a great deal of differentiation within national science policy making that leads to quite different forms and degrees of engagement in international research collaboration. This differentiation leads to the two research questions that underpin this study: How and why does international collaboration in academic science become supported politically? How do national science policy institutions influence policies focused on international collaboration? The project will focus on international research programs over the past 20 years in eight countries to explain the policy and political processes driving these programs. To sharpen the focus on scientific collaboration in academic research, the study is framed around a diverse selection of high and middle-income democracies that are active participants in the global science system: Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Norway, South Korea and then UK.

Phase II – Stratified Productivity and Recognition: A Cross-National Study of National Researcher Recruitment Programs in Canada, the United States and South Africa 

Led by Dr. Creso M. Sá; Co-investigators: Emma Sabzalieva, Magdalena Martinez, Summer Cowley

Book Chapter (2018 – 2019): Unfolding National Approaches to University Rankings in Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America

in Book Stacks, M. (2021) “Global University Rankings: A High Stakes Game or Useful Tool?”. University of Toronto Press

Authors: Creso M. Sá, Nadiia Kachynska, Emma Sabzalieva and Magdalena Martinez

This chapter examines the emergence of national university rankings in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America as a response to broader global neoliberal shifts and the diffusion of norms in higher education worldwide. Unlike their counterparts in the Anglosphere and East Asia, these regions have not been central to the constitution of global rankings as policy drivers. Moreover, universities in these three regions have evolved from political and institutional arrangements that are very different from those that rankings reify, based on the American research university model. We discuss how and why nation-based alternatives to global rankings are on the rise and the implications for regional and global knowledge production and circulation.