Global Research Council Hosts a Successful Annual Meeting

Global Research Council Hosts a Successful Annual Meeting

The 9th Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council was held virtually during 24-28 May 2021,  co-hosted by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The critical discussions by Heads of Research Councils emphasised the ever-evolving, urgent and astute approaches that are necessary to rapidly develop solutions to challenges, in whatever contextual environments agencies find themselves. This fundamental principle was emphasised during Prof Ismail Serageldin’s (Founding Director, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Egypt) keynote address. In this context, strategic initiatives that can contribute towards this call to action include the Global Forum of Funders, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Funding Pilot, and the Trans-Atlantic Platform for Humanities and Social Sciences, among others,. As a cross-cutting construct, and central to the work of funding councils, is an understanding and application of Science Diplomacy.

A number of critical actions and strategies to deliberate on funding councils’ responses to the global pandemic, was highlighted by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation.

Reaffirming the GRC approach of adopting Statements of Principles (this year’s topics were  mission-orientated research and public engagement) is the knowledge products that are launched almost every recent year. These include the extraordinary work by the GRC Working Groups on Gender, and Partnered Research Programmes. Informed by an international conference during 2020, a new Working Group on Responsible Research Assessment was established. This year, an innovative approach of producing case studies on the Statements of Principles was followed, with the launch of the first book on mission-oriented research and public engagement.

Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, Chief Executive Officer of the NRF, called on participants to “use our strong positions of the various science systems to strengthen collective efforts to re-centre science as a key pillar for modern civilisation, anchored on the core values of openness and accountability”.

A formal media statement will be released by the NRF and UKRI.

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