Research Output

Understanding collaboration patterns on funded research projects: A network analysis

  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.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    23 November 2022

  • Publication Status:

    In Press

  • Publisher

    Cambridge University Press (CUP)

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Smith, M., Sarabi, Y., & Christopoulos, D. (in press). Understanding collaboration patterns on funded research projects: A network analysis. Network Science,



collaboration, knowledge exchange, ERGM, research council, UK

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