We have talked to the new Vice-Rector for Research about her plans, the foundations of a vibrant research culture and the conditions required from the university.
Tamara Keszey was Head of the Marketing Management Department until the call for applications for vice-rectorate was published. Her main motivation for the application was to help researchers realize their international research ideas. “A strong university-level research culture cannot exist without excellent research colleagues” the new Vice-Rector begins.
Each researcher’s ideas should reach her
“I would like to create the best conditions for my colleagues, and to reach this the support system must be improved. The exact guidelines must be developed side by side, as taking a step forward is only possible together.” One of the most important aspirations of the new Vice-Rector for Research will be to build bridges to the research community in addition to designing transparent research support processes that everyone can apply for.
According to the new Vice-Rector for Research, these bridges would be two-way, opening the dialogue to meet the current and future needs of researchers. “The ultimate goal is to be able to keep in touch with all researchers indirectly, so that colleagues’ suggestions can reach me” says Tamara Keszey. She brought up access to research data as an example, and researchers will soon be able to apply for funding within the university if they need data for their research.
The goal is a vibrant research culture
Tamara Keszey also emphasized in her application that she wants to develop an even more vibrant research culture at the university. What does she mean by that? “I would like to give more opportunities to strengthen the links among researchers at events, while filling these meetings with high quality professional content. Either a researcher can present his newly published study, or we can invite a foreign colleague to give training on scientific writing” says the Vice-Rector. As an example, she mentions the Research brunch program series that was launched earlier and the events of the research week, which she would like to continue and improve.
In this regard, she cited Benjamin Franklin’s thought: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Involve me, and I’ll learn.” According to the Vice-Rector, it is very important to organize not only lectures, but also interactive events, and to involve researchers in the process as much as possible so that more dialogues and common thinking can start. “The real help is for our colleagues to be able to ask the questions that concern them and get individualized answers”.
Tamara Keszey believes that bottom-up initiatives are important, for example, she would like the institutes to have their own budget for organizing professional workshops in the future, or to invite foreign lecturers.
Time, data, vocational training
The strategic goal of the University will continue to be to increase the number of Q1 and Q2 publications. In order to achieve this, the Vice-Rector has listed three necessary circumstances. The first is time, because there are not as many time-consuming activities as research. The second is the access to research data. According to her, this is a shared responsibility, since researchers need to know exactly what data they need; the university needs to act in a supportive manner, but it also emphasizes the importance of individual initiatives and applications on this issue.
The third essential ingredient is the professionally qualified researcher. According to Tamara Keszey, the university already has a number of internationally recognized researchers. However, consideration should be given to how to raise excellence in individual research performance to an institutional level. According to the Vice-Rector for Research, we should also think about the future, including the improvement of the doctoral school. The current doctoral students will be the researchers of the future, so it is important that they learn from the best researchers during their programme. According to her, a high level of knowledge of methodology is essential for good research performance, as “this is the entry level for international publications”. It can be truly helpful for young researchers to receive appropriate mentoring support, so that they have the opportunity to get advice from colleagues who have enough experience in professional matters.
The Vice-Rector also discussed the potential and possible pitfalls of attracting highly knowledgeable researchers from abroad. It must be ensured that the colleague shares, leaves behind knowledge that can be built on later. For example, work with Corvinus staff in writing articles or give feedback on newly emerging research ideas. “We need colleagues who participate in the cooperation, it is necessary to provide them with a team, but it is equally important that the colleagues invite them to lunch, do sports together, become part of the community in general” Tamara Keszey said.
Approaching a common position through dialogue
The Vice-Rector agrees that Corvinus needs to find research fields where it can stand out on the international market. She said a dialogue should start about this in the institution too. Following the spirit of academic freedom, each researcher must identify the most interesting research directions in his or her field. Only researchers have due insight to identify the important, novel issues in their field. The most important fields for the institution, where it has a comparative advantage should be picked from these.
She intends to provide the appropriate framework for this dialogue in the coming years. Tamara Keszey stated that she prefers this to be a dual process. On the one hand, it is necessary to determine which research positioning paths are successful on the international university market and combine this with the bottom-up process in which the university would represent its own position and strengths.
Finally, the Vice-Rector said that she considers the introduction of Corvinus Research Excellence (CKK) as a forward-looking initiative, and would like to continue to award the prize every year. She praised the sophisticated method of calculating the fee, but considered it important to reduce the period of paid studies from three years to one year, and would make the fee more predictable.