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Research Quality and Collaboration

Aurora founding partners combined research beats established comparative networks for research quality.

The launch of Aurora as a new university network brings together nine founding partners from across Europe; all of whom are high-quality, research intensive universities.

With a strong desire to understand where we deliver excellence in research and to seek out opportunities where we can support each other to improve, Aurora commissioned Elsevier to report on the pre-existing research strengths and collaborations of network members.

This Elsevier report contains key data and insights that show our members’ individual and collective research output, quality, and how extensive our organic or pre-existing collaborations are. In addition, we have chosen to benchmark ourselves against other comparative university networks to understand our strengths and opportunities as a network in the future.

Understandably, with a small core group of nine founding members, the combined research output volume of Aurora universities is lower than established networks with many more members. What is encouraging is that in terms of research quality, measured using Field Weighted Citation Impact scores, Aurora members overall research is of a higher quality than benchmarked peers.

Across all comparator networks, Aurora has the highest FWCI for 13 of the 27 subject areas, equal to LERU’s count of top subject areas. In many subject areas where Aurora does not have the highest FWCI, it has second highest.

Encouragingly, there is a strong foundation of established collaboration between Aurora partners which we look forward to strengthening. All aurora partners collaborate with each other and many have long-established and very productive research collaborations with each other.

There is a high degree of collaboration between all members in Medicine, and Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology. These subject areas cover the bulk of all collaborations between members, with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Gothenburg collaborating with the most members of the network in Medicine, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam collaborating the most in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology.

The insights within the Elsevier report and associated data have provided a rich and valuable resource for Aurora partners which will inform our approach to future activity as we develop and grow as a network and individual universities.

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