Nov. 25, 2013
Vienna is world renowned for its classical music history and influence in the arts, but that isn’t why ORSP director Delia Gallinaro spent a two-weeks in the City of Dreams recently. Gallinaro visited the Vienna University of Technology as a fellow in the International Research Management Fellowship Program. A program created by the National Council of University Research Administrators and European Association Research Managers and Administrators to develop beneficial support and research collaboration among the programs.
Each year one member from both the NCURA and EARMA are selected to visit another university of their choice in the corresponding continent. It is a selection that Gallinaro says in an honor to have.
“As we pursue more international collaboration at SHSU, I welcomed the hands-on opportunity to understand how the European grant system works,” Gallinaro said.
Gallinaro met with top tier representatives from the Austrian Science Fund, assistant university presidents responsible for research and technology development, and other research administrators from around Austria. These meetings are expected improve understanding and cooperation for collaboration between American and European universities.
Having been awarded more than $21 million during her 30 years of grant writing, Gallinaro focused on keys that research clusters could use to potentially lead to more grant awards.
“Researcher administrators are often looked upon as those who only process grants,” Gallinaro said. “But, we want to help facilitate research enterprises and help find solutions to everyday problems as well.”
She was given her own desk and workspace at the university and worked eight hours a day partnering with officials and management to improve research efforts.
“I was pleased with how professional and enthusiastic the Austrian research administrators were in working with American counterparts,” Gallinaro said. “Many times they didn’t know where to begin. They needed a point of contact and I was able to help them get over those initial hurdles.”
European scientists have been focusing on energy, environment and life sciences as fields of research. While in the United States researchers have been emphasizing discovery in health and defense areas. Additionally, more than $144 billion for research awards each year are available in America, but European researchers must vie for funding from an account of $10 billion each year.
“Because of our different areas of emphasis and funding gaps, we need to collaborate more and leverage funding so we can be more influential with our research,” Gallinaro said. “I hope we can identify researchers on our campus that want to get involved in environment or energy studies, and then find immediate collaborators for them.”
Gallinaro hopes to connect with past program fellows to publish a guide to help NCURA and EARMA members answer basic questions regarding funding opportunities and partnerships between the two programs.
“Currently, there aren’t any materials to help educate American and European researchers on how to collaborate with colleagues overseas,” Gallinaro said. “My aim is to help fill that void and help all members of these groups.”
Future alliances could lead to student research exchange possibilities with different universities all over Europe, not just in Austria.
“Having this face-to-face meeting was really important,” Gallinaro said. “We were able to break down a lot of barriers and come up with some great resolves and future possibilities. It is an exciting time to be in research.”