This tool will present you with different aspects which feature in different forms of collaboration, and it is likely that your planned collaboration will include more than one of these aspects, which you should work through in turn. All collaborations, however, should begin with an examination of how your plans will fit into your institutional strategy.

It is suggested, therefore, that all people considering initiating a collaboration of any kind should complete the first section of this tool 'YOUR INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGY' as early as possible. For each step you can choose whether you want to see more information on a topic (by clicking the TELL ME MORE button) and then you can choose if you want to save this information into your report (by clicking the SAVE TO REPORT button). At the end of each section you can print out the report of the items you have saved by clicking the PRINT REPORT button.

For the other items on the menu of aspects of possible collaborations, you should choose those aspects which will apply to your planned activity. Again you will be able to choose whether you want to see information at each step, and then again choose if you then want to save the information into your report. At the end of each aspect you can print out the report of the items you have saved, and then you will proceed to the next aspect.

Who should use this tool, and how?

We think that the tool can be used in two ways:

A bottom-up approach; where a group of staff are working on an idea they have which will involve some form of international collaboration. We hope that working through this tool will help them to identify the issues which they must address, and also to suggest to them new facets they can add to their project to make it more effective and more likely to win backing.

A top-down approach; where managers are encouraging new streams of activity which may include increased international collaborations. Using the tool, perhaps as part of a staff development or team-building exercise, will help to identify a wider picture: other stakeholders; necessary resources; needs for staff training; infrastructure development.

  • In either of these approaches the tool is envisaged to help in the process of evidence-based professional development within Higher Education (See the Professional Standards Framework at:
  • While we were developing and piloting the tool we found that it is best used by small groups; three or four people sitting around a PC and using the prompts to stimulate discussion and, we hope, open-minded thinking.
  • The tool is linked to the chapters and case studies of the research project report, and in these there are the links and references to the source materials for the ideas presented.
  • In every case we suggest that your focus moves backwards and forwards between the examples and suggestions presented in the tool and your own knowledge of the opportunities and constraints within your institution.
  • In this way we hope you will be able to demonstrate that your plans are evidence based.
  • Another suggestion is to create a blog or wiki where you can copy and adapt extracts from the reports you generate, and develop these into the proposals concerning any schemes you are developing.
Tutorial - Learn how to use the tool Start - The Online experience