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Strengthening the Research Ecosystem in Bahrain

As part of a new partnership with the Bahrain Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Council (HEC), AAAS RCP convened a panel at the end of June to carry out an assessment of university research governance and entrepreneurship strategy. The panel will recommend high-level strategies, policies, and practices to strengthen the research ecosystem in Bahrain. The panel comprised RCP’s Program Director, Charles Dunlap, Associate Program Director, Heather McInnis, and Mark Crowell, a university innovation expert and past president of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

The panel traveled to Manama, Bahrain for a five-day site visit that began with a seminar on university governance followed by meetings with leaders from each of Bahrain’s 16 universities. The half-day seminar was opened by Bahrain’s Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and attended by academic leaders from each of Bahrain’s universities. The seminar offered insights on strategies to achieve competitive advantage in research, innovation and knowledge transfer, and the design and use of logic models for strategic planning and measuring impact. Over the next three days of the visit, the panel conducted individual meetings with representatives from the 16 universities to learn about each institution’s challenges and opportunities in developing research capacity. In the final day of the site visit, the panel provided an overview for the Higher Education Council (HEC) of cross-cutting strategic issues in the country’s university system.

People meeting around a table

The AAAS panel is currently preparing a report to HEC, detailing practical steps that the Council may take to support impact measurement, knowledge transfer, and the advancement of research in the academic community in Bahrain. The panel will also provide an individual report to each Higher Education Institution on key strategic areas for each university’s leadership to focus on in their planning and ongoing work to achieve national and institutional goals.

Our work on this national expert panel is part of the RCP’s Strategic Assessment and Evaluation Program. The Program has provided assessment of more than $1 billion in STEM programs and university initiatives over the last twenty years. The Program also develops logic models, data acquisition and analysis plans, and provides outside evaluation support to STEM projects of all scales.


Hannah Weiss

Senior Program Associate

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