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Higher Education and academic research
Higher education and academic/non-profit research in the world
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Italian scientists protest against budget cuts, crocodile tears included

Italian scientists protest against budget cuts, crocodile tears included | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Although the upcoming protests of Italian scientists against budget cut is justified, there are many other issues plaguing the italian research system. (...) - EuroScientist Webzine, 25/09/2014

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Scottish scientists look to a more independent future

Scottish scientists look to a more independent future | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Despite 'no' to independence, a promised push for decentralization could benefit research in Scotland and other UK regions.

 

In the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other politicians made what some saw as panicked pre-vote pledges to give more autonomy to Scotland’s local government if it remained part of the United Kingdom. (...) - by Daniel Cressey, Nature, 22 September 2014

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ANALYSIS: Can scientists put a face on basic research?

ANALYSIS: Can scientists put a face on basic research? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Former science committee chair urges community to use a more populist approach in selling new report.

When academics argue for more U.S. government spending on basic research, they usually haul out statistics that demonstrate how research has played an outsized role in spurring economic development. Those numbers may appeal to other scholars, but to date that approach hasn’t been particularly effective in winning over Washington policymakers. Bart Gordon prefers the Peyton index. (...) - by Jeffrey Mervis, Science, 18 September 2014

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Prominent U.S. academics reprise plea for more basic research to fuel innovation

Prominent U.S. academics reprise plea for more basic research to fuel innovation | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

New report makes familiar arguments, but authors hope policymakers will be more receptive this time around.

How long can U.S. science lobbyists keep repeating the same message—that boosting federal funding for basic research and removing barriers to innovation is a proven way to ensure economic prosperity—without tuning out their intended audience? And is there any reason to think that those who have resisted their pleas in the past will warm to their arguments this time around? (...) - b Jeffrey Mervis, Science, 16 September 2014

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Swiss scientists regain access to some E.U. grants through 2016

Swiss scientists regain access to some E.U. grants through 2016 | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Deal opens up parts of Horizon 2020 blocked after immigration referendum.

BRUSSELS—Starting today, scientists in Switzerland will again be able to apply for some research funds from the European Union's Horizon 2020 program—including coveted grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Both sides reached a short-term deal undoing restrictions imposed on Swiss scientists after a referendum to curb mass immigration back in February. (...) - by Tania Rabesandratana, Science, 15 September 2014

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When Scientists Give Up

When Scientists Give Up | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

They were talented, idealistic risk-takers on the road to what they thought would be important medical discoveries. But when the funding for risk-takers dried up, these two academics called it quits. (...) - by Richard Harris, NPR, September 09, 2014

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Scotland's independence vote rocks science

Scotland's independence vote rocks science | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Vying camps make bold claims about sovereignty as a blessing—or a curse—for science.

On 18 September, the people of Scotland will vote on whether their nation should separate from the United Kingdom and become independent. With the margin of victory now expected to be razor-thin, the debate among researchers is growing more strident over whether independence will ring in a golden era for Scottish science—or cripple it for years to come. Researchers opposed to independence say a split will harm science, depriving it of funds and talent. "Yes" campaigners counter that the Scottish government has vowed to protect science during the transition and to maintain funding at least at current levels. A strong science record is at stake. (...) - by Daniel Clery, Science, 9 September 2014

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Japan's researchers face increased ethics oversight

Funding approval will hinge on bolstering research integrity.

 

TOKYO—Scientists in Japan applying for government grants will soon be getting new mandatory reading material: a manual for promoting research integrity.

The manual, to be released by the end of the year, is being developed by the country’s three major funding agencies and the Science Council of Japan, the nation’s largest organization of researchers. (...) - by Dennis Normile, Science, 5 September 2014

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Scottish independence: Academics fear a university brain drain of country's best scientists

Scottish independence: Academics fear a university brain drain of country's best scientists | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Scottish universities could face a brain drain of some of their finest scientists if the country votes for independence, a number of leading academics fear.

They voiced concerns that the institutions could lose billions of pounds of funding for research.

Several senior scientists have already been contacted by English universities because of the prospect of a yes vote in the referendum on 18 September, sources told The Guardian. (...) - by Ian Jihnston, The Independent, 31/08/2014

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Australia: Research postgraduates to pay for the privilege

As well as generating alarm among Australia’s academics with his reform plans for higher education, federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has caused consternation among research masters and doctoral students by proposing to make them pay fees for the first time.

Under the new scheme, planned to be adopted in 2016, postgraduates undertaking research degrees would be charged up to A$3,900 (US$3,600) a year. At the same time, Pyne wants to cut A$175 million from the government’s research training scheme which enables universities to enrol research students without them having to pay fees. (...) - University World News, by Geoff Maslen, 29 August 2014 Issue No:332

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Labour warns UK will lose global science lead without more investment

Labour warns UK will lose global science lead without more investment | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Shadow universities minister says Britain’s science base at risk if government doesn’t increase research spending. 

Britain’s science base will be in “real jeopardy” if the government does not commit to spending more in the years to come, warns Liam Byrne, Labour’s shadow universities minister.

In an interview with the Guardian, Byrne says “we should not be under any illusion that our position in global science will slip” if the government does not prioritise investment. (...) - by Claire Shaw, The Guardian,, 28/08/2014

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Data check: Not so EAGER for NSF funding?

Data check: Not so EAGER for NSF funding? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Why a program that offers a near-sure bet on winning a grant has so few applicants.

 

How do consumers react after learning that an online bank account has been hacked? Do they take their business elsewhere? Do they limit their online activities to reduce their exposure to such invasions?

Those were some of the questions that intrigued Rahul Telang, a professor of information systems and management at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who studies the economics of information security. With data breaches an increasingly common problem, he suspected the behavior of hacked consumers could be having a significant impact on global commerce. But Telang didn’t have enough preliminary data to win a grant to study the issue from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which last year funded only 22% of the nearly 50,000 proposals it received. (...) - by Jeffrey Mervis, Science, 20 August 2014

 

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Study raises questions about why women are less likely than men to earn tenure at research universities

Study raises questions about why women are less likely than men to earn tenure at research universities | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

SAN FRANCISCO -- In discussions about the gender gap among tenured professors at research universities, there is little dispute that there are far more men than women with tenure in most disciplines. But why? Many have speculated that men are outperforming women in research, which is particularly valued over teaching and service at research universities. With women (of those with children) shouldering a disproportionate share of child care, the theory goes, they may not be able to keep up with publishing and research to the same extent as their male counterparts. (...) - by Scott Jaschik, @insidehighered, August 18, 2014

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For the sake of Italian science and culture

For the sake of Italian science and culture | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The Italian research system has been endangered by lack of adequate government response to tackle the recession through R&D support.

 

Italian scientific research and university systems are in a dramatic position. The poisonous fruit of the recently approved university reform—referred to as the Gelmini law— assisted by the actions of successive governments, are reaching their goal: downsizing the university system and introducing a political control, never attempted before, on basic research. (...) - EuroScientist Webzine, by Francesco Sylos Labini, 25/09/2014

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Researchers discuss the relationship between higher education and employment

Researchers discuss the relationship between higher education and employment | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON -- Measuring the job-market returns of college credentials is complex work, according to researchers who gathered here this week for a meeting on higher education data. That makes it challenging, or even risky, for policy makers to use those metrics to hold colleges accountable.

One reason is that earnings data could penalize institutions with a heavy focus on the liberal arts, teacher training or other relatively low-wage fields. Colleges might also shy away from enrolling students who are from lower-income backgrounds and less academically prepared. (...) - by Paul Fain, @insidehighered, September 2014

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Research and development: Falls in funding

US research and development still suffering from budget battles.

 

US federal spending on scientific research and development is projected to have fallen by 4% from 2011 by the end of this year, according to a report from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Virginia. The report, which collected data from the 27 US science-funding agencies, shows that spending reached US$140 billion in 2011 and is expected to slip to $134 billion this year. The 2014 total is likely to be even lower, says an NSF spokesperson, because it does not account for a 2013 across-the-board cut to discretionary spending. - Nature 513, 451, 17 September 2014

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Essay on the art of peer reviewing and why it matters in academic careers

Essay on the art of peer reviewing and why it matters in academic careers | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Last spring I had the good fortune to meet one of my cousins for dinner in Philadelphia. She is an economist trained and working within the Italian university system, but she was working in the U.S. at the time. Over dinner we did what any two academics from different continents are likely to do — we compared notes. Inevitably, our conversation turned to the academic publishing system. Her knowledge is far more international than mine, as she has published in the journals of a variety of languages, based in several different countries.(...) - by Nate Kreuter, @insidehighered, September 2014

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To Tenure or Not to Tenure?

To Tenure or Not to Tenure? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it
What to expect when you’re asked to write an external letter of recommendation, or when you’re the subject of one.
. Every summer and fall, along with the many other rituals of faculty life, comes this task: evaluating academics who are up for tenure or promotion at other campuses. (...) - The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 2014
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A push to sell research

A push to sell research | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Initiatives to move research out of University labs and onto shelves are growing thanks in part to a new federal grant.

 

The University of Minnesota is taking its “Driven to Discover” mantra outside of classrooms and labs by arming faculty and student researchers with new initiatives to turn their breakthroughs into businesses.

Last year, faculty research helped create 15 start-up companies — a figure the institution’s officials are looking to expand. (...) - Minnesota Daily, by Blair Emerson & Parker Lemke, September 09, 2014

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U.S. Science Suffering From Booms And Busts In Funding

U.S. Science Suffering From Booms And Busts In Funding | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The federal budget for bioscience has undergone big swings since 2000. Some scientists are now out of work and others are abandoning the ambitious, creative ideas that fuel discovery. (...) - by Richard Harris and Robert Benincasa, NPR, September 09, 2014

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Facts on tenure track in Europe’s research universities

Universities in three out of 10 European countries do not have an academic tenure track – France, Spain and the United Kingdom – while in seven countries three basic tenure models have been implemented since the turn of the century, according to a survey by the League of European Research Universities, LERU.

The models – in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland – are outlined in a paper on “Tenure and Tenure Track at LERU Universities: Models for attractive research careers in Europe” launched on Tuesday 2 September. (...) - University World News, by Jan Petter Myklebust, 03 September 2014 Issue No:333

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Universities warn against cuts to EU research funding

The European University Association, or EUA, has warned the Council of the European Union against making “considerable cuts” to proposed funding for research and innovation, including to the major framework programme Horizon 2020.

In a press statement last Thursday, the EUA said it understood that the Council of Minister’s position – to be formally adopted in September – recommended reductions in research and innovation payments.(...)  - University World News, 30 August 2014 issues 332

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Japan's budget proposals bode well for science

Japan's budget proposals bode well for science | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Administration's emphasis on innovation pays off for researchers.

 

TOKYO—Japan's ministry of education gave the country's researchers something to cheer about today, announcing it was asking for a healthy 18% increase, to $11.1 billion, for science and technology spending in its proposed budget for the next fiscal year. (...) - by Dennis Normile, Science, 28 August 2014

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US: Political scientists consider how to diversify their discipline

US: Political scientists consider how to diversify their discipline | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON – Imagine there’s one political science faculty slot to fill, and two equally qualified candidates emerge from the pack. One applicant is a woman, and there are few women serving in the department. Her area of expertise, however -- Europe -- is already well-represented among current professors, and they’re hoping to “fill out the map.” The other candidate is a white male – a demographic well-represented in the department -- but his area of expertise, Africa, is something the department is hungry for.

What does the search committee do?

“The answer is that you go to your dean and ask for two slots,” said Jennifer Hochschild, Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government at Harvard University and professor of African and African American studies at Harvard -- acknowledging that the response in most cases will be “No.” (...) - by Colleen Flaherty, @insidehighered, August 29, 2014

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NIH to probe racial disparity in grant awards

NIH to probe racial disparity in grant awards | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

US agency will assess whether grant reviewers are biased against minority applicants.

Richard Nakamura, director of the Center for Scientific Review at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), does not consider himself to be racially biased. Yet a test of his speed at associating certain words with faces of different races revealed a slight unconscious prejudice against minorities. If the director of the institute that oversees the NIH’s grant process harbours these inclinations, he wonders, are grant reviewers affected as well? (...) - by Sara Reardon, Nature, 19 August 2014

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