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University Capacity Building Program for Georgia’s Higher Education Institutions

The University Capacity Building Program (UCBP) Phase II, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi and administered by American Councils for International Education, is a continued initiative to grow and sustain modern research administration and development offices at Georgian HEIs to increase the contribution of higher education and public research institutions to innovation and economic growth of Georgia. The program aims to build and strengthen US-Georgia research capacity and partnerships.

As part of its objectives, the University Capacity Building Program will assess the current state of the research ecosystem in Georgia HEIs, providing targeted training and resources to increase Georgian research administrators’ knowledge and understanding about managing grants. It will increase Georgian universities’ research capacity and deepen U.S.-Georgian university partnerships through mentoring sessions, workshops, and immersive study visits assisting Georgian HEIs to build a culture of research administration excellence and higher education fund-raising, including donor relations, grant opportunities, and alumni engagement. In addition, the project will create a critical mass of experts in research administration and management in Georgia to continue leveraging the networks created by the project, including cultivating a sustainable peer-advisory network to promote research management capacity and tackle challenges in grant management with innovative ideas and measurements, ultimately establishing a community for Georgian university research administrators to collaborate with US universities.

On February 12-15, American Councils and NCURA conducted series of on-site workshops for 8 higher education institutions in Georgia – both, state and private higher education institutions.

The workshop provided professional development training to increase international partnerships and knowledge sharing between Georgia, the US, and the EU. Workshop sessions covered wide variety of topics, including:

  • Funding opportunities and policy priorities, as well as proposal development for major US funders, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Research administration profession’s expertise and capacity in obtaining grants, grant management and budget development
  • Hands- on training and sessions on faculty support and other funding sources to support US-Georgian partnerships.
  • The importance of building a university ecosystem for research output and compliance issues.

Workshop participants had an exceptional opportunity to discuss topics of their interest and prospects for collaboration with the invited faculty members. UCBP workshop provided a platform for learning and exchange on research administration phases – challenges and potential models of management within Georgia’s institutions.

The UCBP program also includes a webinar series on research management and fundraising, a US-Georgia Research Collaboration Workshop, a US Study Visit for 10 Georgian Research Administrators, and a series of reciprocal visits to Georgia by US experts.

BTU as an active participant in Phase II, successfully continues to engage in the UCBP Phase II to develop its research administration capacity and strengthen institutional collaboration with the world leading Higher education institutions.

This material has been prepared based on information provided by the American Councils for International Education Georgia.