Synergy was successful in its bid to SHEFC for a Strategic Change Grant. A grant of approximately £1/4M over 3 years was received in January 2000.
A requirement of the grant was that annual reports were submitted to the Funding Council.
The following is a summary from the final report made in 2003. Links to extracts from the 2000, 2001 and 2002 reports.
STRATEGIC CHANGE GRANT PROJECT OBJECTIVES
- Promoting organisational change
- Establish a Synergy secretariat
- Explore potential for partnership in areas other than research
- Develop templates for collaboration and guidelines for common operating procedures
- Joint research contract administration
- Develop a Synergy web site
- Continuing support for Synergy initiatives, including seminars and scholarships
- Ongoing support for Synergy beyond the period covered by the SHEFC Strategic Change Grant
- All Vice- and Deputy Principals are members of the steering committee which meets regularly to provide a strategic direction and review progress.
- Lead administration rotated, as planned, from SU to GU and strengthens the relationship between the two administrations.
- Meeting of Principals and Deans held to discuss strengthening the alliance and future areas of collaboration.
- Two events held for senior administrative staff to discuss a range of issue related to collaborative initiatives.
- Significant steps taken to create a joint Research School in Chemical Sciences.
Expanding the Partnership:
- Working to establish a joint school of Social Work
- Discussion regarding possible joint instruction (sociology, modern languages, continuing education)
- Working to align academic calendars to facilitate collaboration
- Libraries working together to secure a broad range of the best discipline-specific journals, and are considering strategies for collection management, service provision, information skills training and licensing agreements
- Strengthening existing links with the City of Glasgow to promote Glasgow/West of Scotland
- Nine templates and associated procedures developed.
- Toolkit completed-- it is intended that this will be a ‘handbook for collaboration’ to facilitate the creation of new collaborations in a cost effective, timesaving and practical way.
Promotions and Database:
- The web site has increasingly been used to communicate with staff and students (e.g for the toolkit and for the scholarship and pump-priming competitions)
- The website will be updated following the production and launch of the new Synergy brochure
the brochure will be launched towards the end of 2003 and will be used for publicity purposes externally as well as internally
- The database contains details of over 140 collaborative activities between the Universities, in addition to research collaborations, details of joint instructional programmes and PhD scholarships are held.
Continuing and Ongoing Support:
- Seminars: hosted the Food Safety Series (2001-03) involving an external audience and other attendees;
further seminars will be hosted under the Synergy banner as relevant opportunities present themselves and as external and internal needs dictate.
- Scholarships: the third round of Synergy scholarships were awarded in April 2003. Competition was intense and there was a high standard of applicants. There are now 6 Synergy Scholars;
the Universities jointly fund the scholarships and they have provided a focus for new and further collaboration between research groups.
- Pump-priming: new areas of collaboration have been supported through the pump-priming awards, 20 awards totaling £36,000 have been made over the three years, benefiting 31 different departments;
a number of award recipients have gone onto obtain external research funding based on the pilot work funded by Synergy.
- Away-days: 9 further away-days supported in the past year, from which it is hoped that future collaborations will flow.
- Review: Mr James Wright, former Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University conducted a final year review of the partnership. The Steering Committee will take forward actions as appropriate.
Future Support: the partnership is an integral part of the future strategy of both institutions, with both committing their owns funds to support Synergy initiatives and formally endorsing the partnership in their Strategic Plans.