Published: 2021-02-02 15:06 | Updated: 2021-02-02 15:24

Hello there, Björn Kull, head of the new Research Support Office

Portrait of Björn Kull outdoors with building in background.
Björn Kull, head of the Research Support Office. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

More help and support for researchers – the objective of the new office part of the university’s Central Administration. Björn Kull, former head of the Grants Office is now head of the Research Support Office.

Why do we need the new Research Support Office?

It has become clear from our work with Strategy 2030 that there is a need for more help and support for researchers. A pilot study for the Harmonized professional services project has also found that there is a lack of clarity regarding the research support available. We needed to clarify and better promote information about the areas where we can provide help. Much of the support we give today has emerged over several years at the Grants Office. As we have grown and more employees have joined us, we have seen the need for reorganisation.

What tasks will the Research Support Office have?

Our overall objective is to support researchers at KI, with particular emphasis on external funding. We aim to maximise external research funding for KI and stimulate wider use of our research. We are also tasked with managing and processing some of KI’s internal prioritisation processes and nominations for medals and prizes, as well as internal advertising of research and travel grants from KI foundations and funds.

Who will you work with, and how?

Our main target group is researchers, but we will also be cooperating with other support functions so we can give researchers the most cohesive and comprehensive support possible. We provide support for every stage of the research process, for example by sharing ideas and inspiration and holding workshops. We will also provide guidance and advice, manage application processes, project administration, and coordinate major strategic partnerships with industry. Furthermore, we will ensure that rules are followed and review applications and contracts.

What areas need developing?

We need to strengthen the university’s capacity to attract external funding. Development work is ongoing with how the departments and university administration can better coordinate the various support processes and bring everything together. We need to create more contact channels and networks between the departments and the Research Support Office. We want to reinforce the support for coordinating application processes for major international collaboration projects, and offer administrative project managers.

We also need to develop a KI-wide peer review service with external experts or consultants for selected applications. There is a need to develop and strengthen support for KI’s collaborations with the corporate sector, and work more proactively to identify new areas for collaboration. Development work is ongoing for the support and management of clinical trials, and how the office will contribute to KI’s information management.

The main KI financiers are changing their strategies. We are seeing a clear trend where more and more financiers require applications to outline the relevant sustainability goals, and how the research can contribute to achieving them. Therefore, we need to improve and intensify advice on how to address the sustainability goals in KI’s research applications.

How do we contact you?

Via emailing our dedicated addresses. You can also call us or access information on the staff portal. As part of the Lotsen researcher support project, we are developing a portal where researchers can easily navigate their way towards the right information – or the right person to contact.