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International researcher mobility

The role of international collaboration and mobility in research

04 May 2017

Findings from a qualitative and quantitative study with Fellows and grant recipients of the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences

The UK National Academies commissioned Opinion Leader to conduct a qualitative and quantitative study of our Fellows and grant recipients to better understand their international collaborations and mobility.

1286 UK researchers (consisting of 762 Fellows and 524 grant recipients across the four national academies) were surveyed to find out about the importance of international collaboration and mobility. Key findings include:

  • Europe was reported to be the most likely continent in which respondents travelled (95%) and collaborated with other researchers in (87%)
  • 58% of respondents said they had spent a year or more working abroad, 64% of which had spent this time in North America 
  • 95% said they had been part of at least one international collaboration in the past five years
  • 77% said that the level of international collaboration is more common now than it was 20 years ago