Newton Professional Development and Engagement Programme

The British Council worked in collaboration with the Middle East Technical University (METU) to transform and empower their research capacity.

A professional development programme for researchers and research support staff is one of the activities delivered in Turkey by the Newton-Katip Çelebi Fund. This project was initiated and designed by METU and the British Council. 

With an excellent reputation for its research output, METU is one of Turkey’s leading universities. The university is eager to grow its relationship with the European Research Area. The project aimed to provide METU researchers and research support staff with the right tools to prepare successful funding applications to EU Research and Innovation Framework Programmes and to encourage more collaboration between the UK and METU in research and innovation. 

METU researchers travelled to the UK to visit five universities: Brunel University, Imperial College, University College London, the University of Nottingham and Leicester University. They were introduced to management strategies used in UK universities, to provide insight and a fresh perspective on how the management structures of Turkish universities could be improved. The visit also enabled the researchers to connect with their UK counterparts, building relationships that will pave the way for future collaboration. 

This study visit was followed by a local impact assessment workshop delivered by Beta Technology and held in METU, Ankara between 10 and 11 December. The purpose of the workshop was to improve the proposal writing skills of researchers and research support staff. The workshop focused on how to demonstrate the benefit of research. During a two day workshop, participants had the opportunity to discuss the economic, political, societal, technological, legislative and environmental impact of the project proposals they were developing.

The project created meaningful dialogue and mutual understanding between researchers in the UK and Turkey, strengthened the service portfolio of METU’s research support office and developed research links between the UK and Turkey.