We at ScAN know first-hand how important it is to have a good research network. This October, at the Arctic Circle Assembly, we convened a session on ‘Enhancing Opportunities and Knowledge through Arctic Research Networks’.
The session featured ScAN, ArcticNET, Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network (IACN), and the Network of Arctic Researchers in Ireland (NARI).
Dr Christine Barnarde, the Executive Director of ArcticNet shared her experience of running a large multidisicplinary research network. ArcticNet is a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada that brings together scientists, engineers, and other professionals in the human health, natural and social sciences with partners from Inuit organizations, northern communities, federal and provincial agencies and the private sector to study the impacts of climate and socio-economic change in the Canadian North.
Federica Scarpa, the Network Communications Manager of the IACN talked about the benefits of having multi-stakeholder engagement in their network. IACN brings together 27 Members and 70 Partners and Collaborators. Members include not only the Universities but also municipalities, government agencies, research institutions, and companies.
Michaela Coote, Research Assistant & Network Development at NARI, discussed their network as a platform for Irish-based researchers to enhance their interdisciplinary collaborative efforts, provide objective and independent scientific advice on issues of science in the Arctic and to promote the next generation of scientists working in the Arctic.
Dr Daria Shapovalova, the Chair of ScAN, convened the panel, and shared ScAN’s journey in the last couple of years, growing membership to over 100, and expanding the network, acting as UArctic regional centre.
The panel discussed challenges of running research networks, in the era of funding precarity. They also discussed the excellent opportunities that participation in research networks brought to them over the years and the need for inter-network communications and cooperation.