By Alisa Zomer and Varja Lipovsek
In which areas do research collaborations between academics and practitioners often run into trouble? What difficult questions can we ask ourselves and our partners at the outset of a research collaboration that can set us up for a successful partnership? How can we learn from past successful and failed aspects of research partnerships?
In our experience four areas where collaborations can have problems are:
- Incentives and expectations
- Collaborative decision making and team buy-in
- Learning and dissemination.
In our guide, “How to have difficult conversations” (MIT Governance Lab, 2020), we designed sets of questions for both academic and practitioner partners to clarify priorities and assumptions, so that potential tensions can be turned into productive and creative exchanges.