Research - Capacity building
From Ms CHANG Ching Chen _ on October 16th, 2019
And then, of course, at the faculty level, faculty are constantly trying to juggle between the different demands of being an academic—teaching, research, contributing to service in the University and beyond the University. And how do we create time and space for them and offer them resources that will support the research? So in the last year, we have put in place a capacity-building fund where we have said to colleagues, if you have a really good idea about a societal challenge that you would like to address, make an application to this fund, not to do the research itself but to build the capacity to do the research. So, for example, the fund would bring in, say, a postdoctoral fellow to work with you, and together you would put your thoughts on paper on how to put together a very compelling research grant that you would go externally for competitive funding. It is about ensuring that there are enough of the kinds of databases that are needed to support the work of faculty, and so forth. So, it is also about putting policy in place where a faculty member who wins a major research grant might have the ability to take time off from a little bit of teaching for a year, maybe two years, to concentrate on the research. But I do want to emphasize that even while we are working through some of these policies, this is a university that does place a lot of attention on the high quality of education, and that means we do want faculty members who are active in research, who are ambitious in their research, but we don’t want faculty who only want to do research to the exclusion of teaching. Because if that is the case, this individual belongs in a research institute not in a university. A university is about both education and research. And at different points in our journey as an academic, we might tilt the balance a little bit here or there, but fundamentally those two activities are important. So, it is about putting in place policies and practices to enable that balance, and hopefully, with all of that, we are able to support faculty to achieve the dreams they want to achieve in research and in teaching.