Leading research in an evolving world: Implications for higher education development, policy and practice

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

In recent years the important work of academic leaders has come under the microscope, particularly through the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s recognition of learning and teaching leadership. The same cannot be said for research leadership, a largely ill-defined and under-recognised sphere of influence in higher education. This paper reports on a recent study that reviewed the leadership experiences of twenty-four research leaders in a research intensive Australian university. Drawing on their insights, the broad parameters of research leadership success are identified, highlighting breadth of focus that research leaders must emphasise. The feedback from these leaders illustrates the complexity of their role in continuing to operate as highly productive researchers whilst also promoting effective outcomes for a collective group of protégés. Following the delineation of the research leadership role, some possible institutional strategies to support the development of improved research leadership are examined.

Keywords: research leadership, leadership development, leadership capabilities