How to support research consortia

By Bruce Currie-Alder and Georgina Cundill Kemp

1. Bruce Currie-Alder (biography)
2. Georgina Cundill Kemp (biography)

A research consortium is a model of collaboration that brings together multiple institutions that are otherwise independent from one another to address a common set of questions using a defined structure and governance model. Increasingly consortia are also being joined in cross-consortia networks. How can connections be made across the institutions in individual consortia, as well as in cross-consortia networks, to ensure that such collaborations are more than the sum of their parts?

During 2014–2018 we were involved in the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), which supported four transdisciplinary research consortia involving more than 40 institutions across 15 countries. CARIAA’s aim was to generate new knowledge and inform efforts that build resilience among vulnerable people living in hotspots of climate change.

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