The impacts of team-based, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research are clear: increased productivity, higher citation rates, increased engagement across all sectors, and the generation of novel solutions to grand challenges. However, institutions can inadvertently limit team-based interdisciplinary research by structuring around disciplines (rather than challenges) and/or by not actively fostering new connections among researchers. Research Clusters can provide a flexible and adaptable mechanism to enable collaborative research across internal and external institutional boundaries. Versions of research clusters are now commonly a central theme in research strategic plans at universities, but there remain very few resources available to research administrators and leadership to support the development of their internal strategies and processes to support research clusters. I work with emerging research clusters to help guide their development and with institutions to develop programs and structures that enable the development and growth of research clusters.
Demes, KW, GC Murphy, & HM Burt. 2019. Catalyzing Clusters of Research Excellence: An Institutional Case Study. Journal of Research Administration 50(1): 108-123. [link]
Demes, KW. Building collaborative, inter-institutional research programs. Department of Fisheries & Ocean research priority workshop. 2018.
Demes, KW et al. 2017. Identifying, Evaluating and Catalyzing Clusters of Research Excellence. Society of Research Administrators International Paper Symposium. [2018 Best Paper of the Year Award]