Utskrift från Malmö universitets webbplats www.mah.se

Professors granted more research hours


RESEARCH. Professors' research time at the end of the year will increase from at least 20 percent of working hours to at least 30 percent.

Professors contribute to the creation of high academic quality research, post-graduate education and training.

– The adjustment of the amount of time dedicated to research and professional development here should be seen as a step toward creating a better balance between research and education, says Kerstin Tham, vice-chancellor at Malmö University.

Malmö University's transition next January will involve a greater focus on research compared to previous years. A significant increase in annual university research funding will occur from 140 million SEK in 2017 to approximately 230 million SEK beginning January 2018.

University management turned to the Education Ministry to claim an additional increase of 100 million SEK research grant next year. The argument behind the claim was to bring Malmö University's research funding to a level equal other "new" universities in the country, such as Örebro University, Karlstad University and Mid Sweden University.

The vice-chancellor has proposed emphasis on research and graduate education in the four target areas. The proposed target areas are:

  • balance between research and education (the ambition is that one third of all activity in 2022 is research),
  • high quality research-related education (the increased research grant will bring new opportunities to focus on an increase in program related research),
  • coherent and enriching academic environments,
  • multidisciplinary research programs and graduate schools in areas relevant to society.

In order to reach these university target areas in the next few years, Malmö university will need to fulfill a set of initiatives, one of which is to increase professors' minimum research time. Other planned initiatives include:

  • increased external financing (expansion of support for research applications and innovation)
  • Strategic recruitment of researchers / teachers,
  • Leadership development of future researchers,
  • developing quality research and graduate studies framework,
  • support to multidisciplinary major programs and graduate schools within the focus areas.

– We must also stress that it is important that there will be priority initiatives in education at basic and advanced levels. One such initiative is a research-based platform for challenge-based learning. But that will entail work within pro vice-chancellor Cecilia Christersson's responsibility, says Kerstin Tham.

– In addition, we develop and systematise our work to disseminate and utilise our research.

Professors' research time guaranteed went through a revision in March 2014. The result was a reduction of research time from 50 to 20 percent of working hours. The reason stated for the reduction was decrease in government funding for research.

With vice-chancellor Kerstin Tham's decisions a first step has been taken to increase professors - and eventually other researchers - the resources to conduct research.

– We need the year, together with the deans, to develop university-wide principles for how we can increase research percentage, she says.

Text: Johan Portland