Projects & Partners
4Sciences is working with universities, international organisations and other stakeholders in the higher education sector on supporting sustainable change and research excellence.
Examples of projects we have delivered:
Science, Perceptions and International Trust Research Project – for the British Council
4Sciences worked as part of a consortium led by Research Consulting to explore the relationship(s) between international trust and collaboration in higher education and science. The study focused on DAC-listed countries and aimed to explore:
- The benefits for countries of supporting and encouraging international collaboration in science.
- The parameters that enable (or constrain) successful international collaborations and the prerequisites for their creation.
- How international collaborations in science (whether at student or research level) strengthen trust in and attraction of a country.
Based on a quick scoping review of literature and existing evidence base, an in-depth analysis of British Council, HESA, SciVal and UNESCO data as well as key informant interviews in ten comparator countries, the research project conducted a systems level analysis to investigate collaborative patterns in the global research landscape, the drivers behind these and the role that developing countries play. The project explores how collaborations can be embedded in wider partnership agendas and how asymmetrical relationships can be avoided to establish mutually beneficial partnerships and sustainable impact.
The final report investigates how scientific research can be leveraged to promote international cooperation and trust, at a time where both funding and trust is increasingly uncertain and in flux. The report makes the case for investment in mutually beneficial research collaborations with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) based on equitable partnerships. Recognition of local contexts and voices and co-creation of projects will greatly strengthen trust and support building of long-term partnerships.
“Research Consulting and 4Sciences brought significant rigour to the delivery of a challenging project and their reporting outputs are excellent. A disciplined approach to project management kept us informed and on track against a very tight delivery timescale. Regular catch-ups kept the British Council team engaged in the progress and highlighted how the evidence was addressing the brief, allowing us to agree changes in focus to reflect the emerging evidence.”
Evaluation & summative assessment – University of Leicester’s GCRF strategy
4Sciences has conducted an evaluation of the implementation of the University of Leicester’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Strategy (2018-2021) to help shape future development research strategy at the University and support reporting to Research England. The report assesses how QR GCRF funding has been used and interventions taken against key performance indicators (KPIs) defined in the University’s strategy.
The study conducted a quantitative data analysis of secondary data collated by the University related to outputs and outcomes linked to the KPIs of the GCRF strategy, annual submissions to Research England’s monitoring exercise, as well as key informant interviews, impact case studies and contributions to REF 2021.
The evaluation could establish strong evidence of a significantly grown development research portfolio at the University, now accounting for more than 4% of externally funded research activities. Tailored and strategic support has shown to significantly contribute to the success of applications and programmes. Continuous support seems vital to realise their impact potential over the coming years.
It is visible that the University has put equality of partnerships at the core of its interventions rather than aiming for short-term gains. Key performance indicators (KPIs) chosen have shown some limitations, partly owed to lack of in-house systems. They also do not consider the cyclic nature of research, thereby making it difficult to attribute outcomes to interventions.