In its strategies for 2015-2018, Stockholm University aims to be actively involved in broad collaboration in society. At the same time, Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, has been commissioned by the government to develop a model for allocating research funds based on how well the collaboration with the community outside academia works at Swedish universities. Special funding has been announced to develop collaboration at each university, and Stockholm University has been awarded funding to develop a support structure involving management, central functions, and departments. On this basis, the Vice-Chancellor has commissioned the External Relations and Communications Office to start and run a pilot project with appointed Liaison Officers placed throughout the core operations.

Part of the University’s collaboration support

On 1 September 2015, ten appointed Liaison Officers began their assignments which constitute 20 per cent of a full-time position. They work at the section level or, where there are no sections, with groups of departments (see below). The appointed Liaison Officers are a part of the University’s collaboration support and an important resource for the University’s and the academic areas’ collaborative development. They monitor the collaborative projects that are carried out at the departments, identify success factors and obstacles, act as sounding boards for teachers and researchers, and help create opportunities for new projects where there are none. To assist them in this work, the Liaison Officers have access to resources at the External Relations and Communications Office.

The model is partly inspired by the alumni work, where almost every department today has an appointed Alumni Officer who collaborates with the Alumni Coordinator. One difference is that the specific duties of the Liaison Officers vary depending on the needs and priorities of each department.

Two-year pilot project

The pilot project extends over four semesters with a subsequent evaluation. After the evaluation and any necessary adjustments, the model may be extended or even made permanent. In terms of merit, the appointment as a Liaison Officer is comparable to being a director of studies. Contact persons for the project at the External Relations and Communications Office are Petra Norling, petra.norling@su.se, and Eva Klasson Wehler, eva.klasson.wehler@su.se.

Liaison Officers at all faculties

The appointed Liaison Officers and their areas of responsibility:

Faculty of Humanities
Mona Blåsjö, mona.blasjo@su.se (Languages and linguistics)
Louise Wallenberg, louise.wallenberg@ims.su.se (History and philosophy subjects)
Adnan Mahmutovic, adnan.mahmutovic@english.su.se (Languages and linguistics)
Anja Hirdman, anja.hirdman@ims.su.se (History and philosophy subjects)

Faculty of Social Sciences
Mandar Dabhilkar, mandar.dabhilkar@sbs.su.se (Business Administration, Economics, Criminology, Statistics + IIES)
Ann-Zofie Duvander, ann-zofie.duvander@sociology.su.se (Sociology, Social Work + SORAD, SOFI, CHESS)
Urban Nordin, urban.nordin@humangeo.su.se (Human Geography, Political Science, Social Anthropology, Economic History + SCORE)
Ulrika Drougge, drougge@dsv.su.se (Computer and Systems Sciences, Child and Youth Studies, Education, Special Education, Psychology + Stress Research Institute)

Faculty of Law
Mårten Schultz, marten.schultz@juridicum.su.se (Department of Law)

Faculty of Science
Lisbeth Jonsson, lisbeth.jonsson@su.se (Biology Section)
Malin Stenberg de Serves, malin.stenberg@natgeo.su.se (Section for Earth and Environmental Sciences)
Anna-Karin Tidén, anna-karin.tiden@mmk.su.se (Chemistry Section)