Cluster intensifies research related cooperation with its international network partners
During a visit at Rhodes University in South Africa, the Deputy Spokesperson of the Cluster Prof. Dr. Ute Fendler and the Cluster’s Vice Dean of research Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber discussed the future of the Cluster’s research cooperation within its international network in general and among the Cluster and its five African Cluster Centers in particular.
International knowledge exchange, multilateral research projects – since its launch in January 2019 the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence has prioritized its agenda of creating a comprehensive international research cooperation on all topics of “African Studies” comprising many institutions all over the world. For this purpose, the Cluster of Excellence founded five African Cluster Centers that serve as vital and valuable pillars of this international collaboration on the African continent providing the Cluster with unique insights and important research synergies. During a visit from 4 through 7 March 2020 at the most Southern African Cluster Center, Rhodes University in Makhanda, South Africa, the Deputy Spokesperson of the Cluster Prof. Dr. Ute Fendler and the Cluster’s Vice Dean of research Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber discussed specific projects as well as general questions on how to improve the work of this international research network even further.
Communication is key
During their stay it became apparent more than ever that communication and the effortless possibility of intensive exchange is the most important key to a fruitful collaboration. Therefore, it was decided that the Cluster will provide the infrastructural means to make sure that the exchange can take place even more smoothly than before. “In the coming months, we will provide the network with a platform that allows all members to follow discussions and activities”, explains Prof. Dr. Ute Fendler. “It is our paramount goal to streamline the research exchange within the Cluster as much as possible.” Among other things the new platform will make the outlines of all research projects accessible to each and every member resulting in more transparency and easier exchange of ideas and input.
The topics of further discussions ranged from writing retreats to matchmaking workshops and PhD cotutelle programs. Although no definite decisions have been made, the Bayreuth delegation made its way home with many suggestions in tow. Prof. Fendler summarizes: “We are very grateful for all the input and suggestions we have received during our stay at Rhodes and we are looking forward to actively shaping the Cluster’s network to a valuable cooperation for all parties involved.” (sg)