Russell Group delegation meets with European counterparts to strengthen research relationships

29 November 2023

Russell Group Policy Manager Douglas Dowell reflects on a gathering of European stakeholders hosted to share learning and insight and build relationships to aid future research collaboration.

Hosted in Brussels, the one-day programme of engagement provided an opportunity to discuss how researchers in different countries can best collaborate and what the future of European research collaboration looks like.

At a critical time for UK-European research collaboration, following the UK’s association with Horizon earlier this year, a Russell Group delegation, including Professor Shearer West (Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham), Professor Stephen Jarvis (Provost and Vice-Principal, University of Birmingham), Professor Philip Taylor (Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, University of Bristol) and Dr Uta Staiger (Director, University College London European Institute), were pleased to meet with European counterparts to deepen relationships and understand how best Russell Group universities could work with their institutions now and in the future.

Russell Group representatives took part in a roundtable discussion, hosted by the UK Mission to the European Union, with research offices, university groups and diplomatic attachés from 10 different countries. The delegation also met with representatives from the European Research Council and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Throughout the day, delegates discussed what institutions across Europe are looking for in research collaborators, how to work together to boost collaborations, and the future of European research collaboration – with a particular focus on Horizon Europe’s planned successor programme.

With the UK now associated to Horizon Europe and rejoining the European research family, UK universities are committed to doing everything in their power to make the most of our association, with this session one of many ways that old partnerships will be revitalised and new ones built.

Russell Group universities, responsible for almost 80% of the most highly cited research papers produced by UK universities and 91% of whose research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (4* and 3*) according to the latest Research Excellence Framework, will have a large part to play in making international research collaboration a success. To this end, we are supporting members to build new European collaborations and to re-engage with friends and partners in countries across Europe – and Horizon associates further afield.


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