Four prerequisites provide stability and direction
Quality and renewal are key words in Uppsala University’s systematic efforts to strengthen its position as an internationally leading research university. Three strategies lay the foundation for the culture of quality that animates every aspect of the University’s activities:
- High-class research environments are created by uniting the pursuit of scholarly excellence with benefit to society, and by integrating research and education.
- Systematic quality assurance and enhancement is conducted at all levels of the organisation. International evaluations including peer review are an important feature that recur periodically and underpin development efforts. They are intended to strengthen the preconditions and processes that promote research quality and renewal.
- Excellent research is closely linked with high-quality education. Uppsala University is currently developing a model for the systematic evaluation of education.
Successful research depends on infrastructure of an internationally high standard in the form of experimental equipment, databases, libraries, collections and biobanks. Uppsala University hosts various infrastructure resources that are accessible nationally and internationally, and by the same token, researchers at the University make extensive use of infrastructure elsewhere in Sweden and abroad. The following resources are of particular strategic importance:
- SciLifeLab offers a wide range of experimental facilities to support research in health and environmental sciences with a molecular focus. The Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), which is coordinated by Uppsala University and makes resources available for calculations, analysis and data storage, is also of major importance.
- Uppsala University researchers are the largest group of users at Max IV and are contributing actively to the building of ESS – not least through leading expertise in construction and engineering. Uppsala University intends to establish an on-site office at Science Village in Lund to enhance opportunities for researchers at the University to visit Max IV and ESS.
- The infrastructure resources needed by researchers continue to receive priority. The University has world-leading resources in important profile areas at local level, e.g. the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Information provision is in focus in the development of the University Library as an infrastructure resource for research and higher education for the entire University. For future needs, the University is working on priorities across disciplinary boundaries in national dialogue.
- Uppsala Clinical Research Center (UCR) is an infrastructure resource for clinical research with an excellent international reputation, for which Uppsala University and Uppsala County Council share responsibility. It hosts expertise in all stages of clinical studies, world-leading infrastructure for health registers and associated research, and a well-functioning biobank for both healthcare and research needs.
Internationalisation and the world around us
Uppsala University is open to the outside world and participates proactively in international contexts centring on new knowledge. Collaboration with international actors and financiers is being strengthened. Researchers and teachers are encouraged to take on leading roles in national and international scholarly relations. The following principles are important:
- Uppsala University is systematically seeking increased participation in EU projects and consortia. Project coordinators with a good knowledge of the EU have been recruited to support researchers involved and contribute to closer dialogue with decision-makers and partners.
- Uppsala University takes responsibility in international contexts where scholarly expertise is needed, for example in work on the 2030 Agenda and in various UN bodies. The University is also making a long-term contribution to scientific capacity-building in low-income countries.
- Areas that demand new knowledge and innovation are identified in collaboration with important actors in society. Researchers and teachers at Uppsala University collaborate actively with the business and civic sectors and contribute to the implementation of new knowledge in fields such as medicine, energy technology, biotechnology, psychology and law. A Collaboration Council has been established as a strategic resource for the entire University and ‘strategic partnership’ agreements are being entered into with particularly important actors.
Innovative research requires independent, innovative researchers. The equal opportunities perspective is highlighted in all recruitment processes and is an integral component of all training for managers. Available tools for strategic skills provision are systematically applied and vacancies are advertised internationally. Strategic actions include:
- Employees in the early phases of their career receive support through mentorship, advice in formulating applications and interview training. Appointment as an associate senior lecturer is used as an entry-level position in a research and teaching career.
- Uppsala University recruits actively in strategically important areas. New employees and visiting researchers recruited internationally are offered support to help them become established. Mobility and international experience are to be taken into account when recruiting younger researchers.
- Skills development programmes facilitate new career steps. Management training is obligatory for heads of department, as are courses in university teaching for teachers and courses in supervision for PhD supervisors. Skills development for senior academic managers is arranged in cooperation with international partner institutions.