A Research Framework
Research offers the perfect vehicle for delivering the Syria Programme’s (SP) objectives in the form of action-learning opportunities, which facilitate professional connection and collaboration through the Cara Syria partnership model, as well as continued academic development and contribution, introducing broadly accepted international standards and good practice in research, by ‘doing’, as well as providing publication opportunities to enable Syrian colleagues to grow international academic publication portfolios.
Two Parallel Research Strands The SP encompasses two parallel research strands, both restricted to SP participants. The first Syrian Research Fellowship Scheme (SRFS) is competitive with research proposal calls approximately nine-monthly. The second Cara-commissioned Cross-cutting Research (CCR) focuses on Syrian HE and the emerging HE sector in the non-regime northwest, in particular. Since 2022, the Cara SP has been running a number of action-research studies focusing on enhancing the quality of HE provision, in line with internationally recognised norms.
Cara Partnering Model The Cara partnering model remains central to the SP, facilitating professional connection and collaboration, not just with colleagues from the wider regional and international academic communities but, as importantly, across Syrian colleagues, mitigating professional isolation, supporting the development of discipline clusters, and connections that build resilience and a resource on which to draw in the immediate and the longer-term, whatever the future holds.
SP ‘Peer Review College’ Research activities rely extensively on university discipline experts for their delivery, known collectively as the SP ‘Peer Review College’ whose members number over 400. Members of the SP Peer Review College volunteer to take on one or more of the following roles: study team mentor; independent expert reviewer whose initial evaluation of funding proposal submissions received, informs the final selection process; editor; academic writing workshop facilitators; and E-learn Soiree presenter.