Project Activities and Methodology
As stated in the project aims and objectives the Palestinian universities mainly focus their work time on teaching rather than research. But as it is well known that conducting up to date research activities are one of the most important factors for the success of the national innovation system of a country. In order to successfully boost the research activities as a whole this projects aims at ensuring the quality of research in line with standards from abroad, to unify those standards and create a research hub so that duplication of research is ensured to be prohibited.
1) The general idea of this project is to define a broad quality standards for conducting international research so that it can meet EU partners. If the quality of research is assured the incentive to invest their work time in these activities is much higher for the academic staff, since they can directly derive a personal as well as vocational gain. Only if the quality of research activities in Palestinian universities is secured, these research outputs can directly compete with the ones from other European or international universities. High quality research activities not only help to increase the universities’ reputation but also largely contribute to the competitiveness of the national innovation system of their countries. The knowledge transfer of research activities outputs to the private sector can positively influence the innovation potential of a whole society. Good research is the basis for good teaching. Only if the academic staff of the BERC is well embodied within the scientific community the researcher can deliver good quality in teaching, which incorporate up to date information and state research methodology curriculum teaching. In this sense the project at hand does not only boost research activities by securing their high quality but also indirectly increases the quality of teaching that derives form good research.
2) As it’s mentioned above, one of the most important output is to create a scientific network (Research Hub) between researcher of the region as well as researcher abroad (EU partners). The project is one first step in this direction, bringing together EU experts as well as BERC staff to share experiences and to work together. In addition to be a basic center for verifying the titles and proposals of master thesis and scientific researches before conducting it. During the three annual meetings (one each project year) the partners will gradually develop, adapt and implement the research quality standards, and share their experience in researchers supervision. During these occasions all involved stakeholder will have the opportunity to have new links and thus create sustainable scientific networks for future cooperation. The project also wants to support directly the young scientific staff of all BERCs. Not only will they be provided with appropriate equipment and literature but will also offer them the possibility to conduct study visits to EUUs of the project consortium. This visit will not only give them new inputs regarding their own research activities but also be an important opportunity to make the acquaintance of colleagues and experts from abroad, thus develop a first personal network. Besides, the importance of quality of research and its impact on the national innovation systems of the countries of the region is to be communicated to a broader public. This will help to adjust the often unfavorable image universities may have in the public opinion. By undertaking efforts to increase the outputs of academic research this project will help to re-position the universities as one of the most important actor that can increase the competitiveness of a country’s human resource capital.
3) Thirdly; this project aims to support the facilities of BERC and the research methodology curriculum; so that the quality of research output is increased and so the number of publications in international journals. The BERCs staff are the core for research activities, they are the future capital in terms of human capital. In order to prevent them from going abroad and seeking a better research environment (brain drain) the project wants to directly support them thus motivate them to stay at their universities for future research and teaching activities. This way the project contributes to the development of human resource capital in a sustainable manner.
The project foresees to reward the research work of 25 distinguished professors and young scholars of each BERC by providing them with basics and offering them study visits. This will not only show the high potential of these young academics but also be an important help for their scientific career in their own country.