University of Edinburgh

15-19 July 2019 | University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Application Deadline: Friday 8 March 2019 (16:00)

Building Research Capacity and a Collaborative Global Community

The LERU Doctoral Summer School at the University of Edinburgh will focus on international collaboration, giving participants the dual benefits of an enhanced understanding of the nature and importance of collaboration, whilst simultaneously creating a multi-disciplinary, global network for their future careers.

Research has always been a collaborative endeavour, but there is increasing drive from funders and institutions to stimulate partnerships between researchers with diverse skills, and knowledge, working in different contexts. Effective collaboration in the future will demand more than disciplinary excellence. Researchers will need to understand the motivations, strengths and contributions of their partners whilst communicating their own goals and expectations. Researchers who understand how to work effectively with others will be better equipped to generate long-term impact across boundaries between subjects, countries and sectors.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in June 2016, there has been a renewed emphasis on the significance of high-quality knowledge exchange and collaboration between the UK and its European neighbours. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations, the need to collaborate will always remain and although it may prove to be more challenging than before, and more international in its scope, the skill set involved in establishing, participating and fully utilising in international collaborative research community will become increasingly invaluable as Europe continues to deliver impactful research to the rest of the world.

An innovative outcome of this Summer School will be that participants will put partnership into practice by co-authoring a guide to international collaboration targeted at doctoral researchers and based on pre-course work, advice from expert speakers and their own experiences. During the course they will work with an experienced author of research skills guides and a designer so that the guide can be completed within the workshop. It will then be published under a Creative Commons and available to all young researchers as a resource for wider use.


To introduce early career researchers to the principles and practice of effective interdisciplinary collaboration on a global stage and allow them to apply learning on a substantial collaborative activity during the week.


  • Awareness of collaborative models (interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international)
  • Tools to maximise success and minimise challenges of collaborative research
  • Development of an international network of peers
  • Appreciation of cultural differences and strategies to work effectively across cultures
  • Authorship of a novel guide to international collaboration for PhD students

A video report of the 2017 LERU Summer School can be viewed online, as well as a blog post from Holly Jenkins, who represented Imperial College London at last year’s Summer School.

Application Information

Imperial has one place guaranteed on the summer school.

Who can apply?

The summer school is for intermediate to advanced doctoral candidates in all fields of academia. Doctoral students who are at a later stage of their PhD will benefit from the learning environment that challenges their thinking into new directions through cross-disciplinary perspectives. Candidates should be highly motivated to work intensively on this project in an international and interdisciplinary team. All sessions will be conducted in English.

Imperial College participants must:

  • Be a current doctoral student (from any discipline)
  • Be more than 18 months into their PhD at the time the course takes place

Successful applicants will:

  • Be able to explain what they hope to gain from the experience
  • Be able to explain and engage with the topic of the Summer School ““Building Research Capacity and a Collaborative Global Community
  • Be keen to connect with fellow doctoral students in discussing the theme
  • Be willing to communicate their experiences to peers and colleagues at Imperial afterwards
  • Be able to demonstrate an interest in building international networks
  • Be willing to be a good ambassador for Imperial

How to apply?

Tuition and accommodation will cost €500.  Accommodation from 14 July – 19 July will be provided by the University of Edinburgh. Imperial will contribute £300 towards the costs of participation for the nominated student.

Applications are now open. Please click here to access the online application form.

The application deadline is Friday 8 March 2018 (16:00) and applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within 1-2 weeks.

Any additional queries, please contact the Graduate School.

Please note that due to the large volume of applications received it is not possible to provide feedback on individual applications.