Kent/Cambridge collaborative project shortlisted for THE Awards 2021

Olivia Miller
Picture by Unsplash

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) COMPASS project, led by the universities of Kent and Cambridge has been shortlisted for the International Collaboration of the Year at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2021.

The GCRF COMPASS project works with higher education institutions (HEIs) from former Soviet Republics (ADA University [Azerbaijan], Belarusian State University [Belarus], Tajik National University [TNU] and the University of World Economy and Diplomacy [UWED]), to develop global partnerships and more sustainable learning capacities through resilience in the face of adversity and crisis. Led by Professor Elena Korosteleva (School of Politics and International Relations), twice formally recognised for her research and teaching excellence in the UK and internationally, the GCRF COMPASS consortium involves six Research Institutions, 24 members of staff and 100 affiliates.

The project has been recognised by the THE Awards 2021 judges for its creative collaborations, imaginative communication of research results, and tremendous achievements in difficult circumstances of war, conflict, uprising and COVID-19 pandemic.

Supported by its International Advisory Board of policymakers, practitioners and academics across the globe, GCRF COMPASS fosters excellence through successful research integration, policy impact and community engagement. Despite the complex challenges both in the UK and the region, the project team has built close relationships. This has ensued in new research projects, international training schools for the Early Career Scholars and Future Leaders, workshops and signature conferences. Educational partnerships have been formed and the researchers’ work has facilitated peace and reconciliation between former adversaries; investing into a more sustainable future of the region, and beyond.

The project team helped its partners, both in the UK and the region, to nurture signature specialisms enabling them to become global hubs in resilience (Kent and Cambridge), migration (Belarus), connectivity (Azerbaijan), regional security (Uzbekistan) and cultural diplomacy (Tajikistan) whilst engaging the younger generation through international training schools, skills workshops, conferences and publications.

Professor Korosteleva said: ‘We are delighted that the GCRF COMPASS project has been shortlisted for International Collaboration of the Year. GCRF COMPASS has succeeded to deliver its goals, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest, border conflicts, war and other complex challenges. Exceeding ambitions, the project has produced nearly 300 publications, seven follow-up projects, with over 40 virtual conferences and workshops in the last year alone. We are proud to have created sustainable links within the region, which were impossible a few years ago and proved that real partnerships build true resilience. We look forward to expanding our research network in the future, to foster excellence in the UK, and globally.’

The THE Awards 2021 ceremony takes place on 25 November 2021.