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Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities

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Digital collaboration for social sciences and humanities

Research funding agencies in Europe and the Americas created the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities, a global first for research funding cooperation.

Society

More complex social challenges are transcending international boundaries than ever before. Social sciences and humanities researchers work to understand and address global challenges and issues such as poverty and inequality as well as the impact of an ageing society. Researchers on the T-AP (Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities) project have created a platform to enhance international research collaboration in key areas of mutual interest and engagement. They began by forming an understanding about best practices and methods of collaboration. Opportunities for international collaboration within a multidisciplinary perspective were then pursued. Project work enabled the establishment of T-AP symposia. The researchers explored the opportunities and challenges of extending the T-AP network. Potential partners who were interested in working with the Platform attended and participated in the events. A dissemination, communication and implementation strategy followed. This supported the launch of the website/communication platform, the design of marketing material, and organisation of the launch and final event. Break-out groups were formed to cover the areas of fostering participation, facilitating international research collaboration and designing funding opportunities. Discussions resulted in a variety of concrete ideas and suggestions for collaborative efforts to help lower barriers between researchers. The researchers identified a theme as a pilot for exploring how all themes could be further developed beyond the Platform. They agreed upon a plan to pilot new principles of transnational collaboration facilitating prospective joint programming by focusing on the theme of digital scholarship. Digital scholarship is the term given to define how information technology advances in software and hardware and increased mobility with decreased cost has had an impact on various scholarly work. As a result of T-AP work, a main recommendation was that most if not all social sciences and humanities scholars should have digital tools in their toolbox. Project outcomes will help to advance multidisciplinary collaborative projects in digital scholarship that seek new perspectives and insights.

Keywords

Social sciences and humanities, research funding, T-AP, international research collaboration

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