The challenge of international research collaborations: an interview on the developing nation experience.

Author:Slocum, J. Michael
Position:Voice of Experience - Interview

Voice of Experience advances the tradition and service of the Journal of Research Administration by fostering consideration of and reflection upon contemporary issues and concerns in research administration. VOE is a celebrated feature column in each edition of the Journal. In this issue an interview addresses a critical area affecting research administration and management--international research collaborations from the developing nation experience. This interview will highlight the immense importance of such collaborations and will likewise urge research leaders to consider carefully the myriad but definite paths that must be taken to achieve success for researchers, their investigations, and their institutions.


Mr. Slocum first met Professor Mazonde at an annual SRA conference, then again in December 2009 at the University of Botswana's International Ethics Conference, Retrieving the Human Face of Science: Understanding Ethics and Integrity in Healthcare, Medicine and Research. The Conference was organized by the University of Botswana in partnership with the US Navy Medicine and the Uniformed Services University Graduate School of Nursing.

Isaac Mazonde joined the University of Botswana in 1978 as a Staff Development Fellow in the former National Institute of Development Research and Documentation. His research interests include social organization for economic production, minority groups, technology transfer, food security, and research management. Among many other accomplishments, he is the co-editor of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Intellectual Property in the Twenty-First Century: Perspectives from Southern Africa. This book explores the debate on African indigenous knowledge and intellectual property rights.


In this interview, Professor Mazonde explains some of the issues that arise in international research collaborations among institutions in developing countries, and companies and other organizations in more developed countries.


I know that international research collaborations can be incredibly complex. However, I am sure that you have found recurring issues arising in establishing such collaborations with both government-funded research activities, and with private sponsors. Can you briefly discuss the top recurring issues that you have to address, first in identifying potential partners in research, and in developing research concepts and proposals for both government and private funding?


To continue reading