Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Understanding collaboration patterns on funded research projects: A network analysis

Smith, Matthew; Sarabi, Yasaman; Christopoulos, Dimitris


Matthew Smith

Yasaman Sarabi

Dimitris Christopoulos


This paper provides an examination of inter-organizational collaboration in the UK research system. Data are collected on organizational collaboration on projects funded by four key UK research councils: Arts and Humanities Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The organizational partnerships include both academic and nonacademic institutions. A collaboration network is created for each research council, and an exponential random graph model is applied to inform on the mechanisms underpinning collaborative tie formation on research council-funded projects. We find that in the sciences, collaborative patterns are much more hierarchical and concentrated in a small handful of actors compared to the social sciences and humanities projects. Institutions that are members of the elite Russell Group (a set of 24 high-ranking UK universities) are much more likely to be involved in collaborations across research councils.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 28, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 23, 2022
Publication Date 2023-03
Deposit Date Nov 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2022
Journal Network Science
Print ISSN 2050-1242
Electronic ISSN 2050-1250
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 143-173
Keywords collaboration, knowledge exchange, ERGM, research council, UK
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations