Research Capacity of European Academic Researchers in an Age of Change Ewelina K. Niemczyk
Summary: The scholarly literature makes clear that universities’ research and innovation fuels the knowledge economy, and nations globally are committed to strengthening academic institutions’ research capacity and productivity. As the driver of innovation and invention, academic research requires competent scholars who can contribute to the progress and prosperity of local and global societies. Regardless of context, academic researchers are increasingly viewed as knowledge producers and catalysts for societal change. Recognizing the importance of research capacity and the fact that scholars operate within ever-changing research environments, this study explores the productive research activities and core competencies of 18 European academic researchers. Data for this qualitative study were collected in 2018 via an open-ended questionnaire developed using the cloud-based SurveyMonkey software. The findings reveal a broad list of core competencies that are prerequisites for scholars seeking to engage in effective research activities and achieve recognition as productive academic researchers. The findings also identify several factors that inhibit or limit productive research activities. The study’s results will be a helpful resource for a wide audience across the academic spectrum, including doctoral students, scholars, research personnel, research directors, and university leaders.