15 Jul 2019 - 19 Jul 2019

LERU Summer School 2019

Building Research Capacity and a Collaborative Global Community

15 – 19 July 2019


The proposed LERU Doctoral Summer School at the University of Edinburgh will focus on international collaboration, giving participants the dual benefits of an enhanced understanding of the nature and importance of collaboration, whilst simultaneously creating a multi-disciplinary, global network for their future careers.

Research has always been a collaborative endeavour, but there is increasing drive from funders and institutions to stimulate partnerships between researchers with diverse skills, and knowledge, working in different contexts. Effective collaboration in the future will demand more than disciplinary excellence. Researchers will need to understand the motivations, strengths and contributions of their partners whilst communicating their own goals and expectations. Researchers who understand how to work effectively with others will be better equipped to generate long-term impact across boundaries between subjects, countries and sectors.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in June 2016, there has been a renewed emphasis on the significance of high-quality knowledge exchange and collaboration between the UK and its European neighbours. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations, the need to collaborate will always remain and although it may prove to be more challenging than before, and more international in its scope, the skill set involved in establishing, participating and fully utilising an international collaborative research community will become increasingly invaluable as Europe continues to deliver impactful research to the rest of the world.

An innovative outcome of this Summer School will be that participants will put partnership into practice by co-authoring a guide to international collaboration targeted at doctoral researchers and based on pre-course work, advice from expert speakers and their own experiences. During the course they will work with an experienced author of research skills guides and a designer so that the guide can be completed within the workshop. It will then be published under a Creative Commons and available to all young researchers as a resource for wider use.


To introduce early career researchers to the principles and practice of effective interdisciplinary collaboration on a global stage and allow them to apply learning on a substantial collaborative activity during the week.


  • Awareness of collaborative models (interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international)
  • Tools to maximise success and minimise challenges of collaborative research
  • Development of an international network of peers
  • Appreciation of cultural differences and strategies to work effectively across cultures
  • Authorship of a novel guide to international collaboration for PhD students


Applicants must be registered doctoral researchers at a LERU university and must be selected by their university. Interested candidates should check their university’s website or other communication channels to apply. They should be well advanced in their doctoral project and keenly motivated to work intensively and contribute to the production of a Collaboration Guide over the course of the week in Edinburgh. Candidates must be available for the entire duration of the Summer School, and must be prepared to participate in all activities. All sessions will be conducted in English, and therefore fluency in both spoken and written English is essential.