"Academic researchers form a crucial part of innovation systems but research so far leaves room for the following three questions: how does social capital of academic researchers co-evolve with the use, creation and dissemination of knowledge and innovation? Two, how do academic researchers’ innovation systems function at the regional, national and global level? Three, are the research activities and goals, the knowledge accumulation and the networks of academic scholars characterized by their technical disciplines? In particular, the applicant aims at developing a taxonomy of academic researchers that goes beyond basic and applied research.
The approach used for the project has three major distinguishing characteristics: One, it is a comparative approach as the applicant will analyse the situation at five leading European universities of science and technology. These universities form the IDEA league and include a British, Dutch, French, German and Swiss partner. Two, the approach is interdisciplinary as the applicant will join the perspectives of two disciplines, i.e. Economic Geography and Economics of Innovation. Three, the applicant uses a theory-driven empirical approach by combining quantitative, i.e. social network analysis and bibliometric analysis, and qualitative research methods in an innovative way.
The approach taken mirrors the aim of the research training project. The applicant has a strong theoretical background in Economics of Innovation and empirical experience in quantitative research methods. Her stay at the RWTH Aachen University would enhance her knowledge of Economic Geography and of qualitative research methods.
The insights regarding patterns, dynamics and effects of knowledge-intensive networking of academic researchers will hint at chances and bottlenecks in innovation systems. They will help academic researchers, university management and policy makers to improve the research efficiency and output of the European Research Area."
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