School of Science Research Strategic Workshop

16 May 2023

Recently, the School of Science held a workshop regarding its five-year research strategic plan in the IR building, South Campus. Professor John Moraros, the Dean of the School of Science, Professor Li Yang, the Associate Dean of Research and Impact, and more than 30 staff from the School attended the workshop.

At the beginning of the workshop, Professor John Moraros first reviewed the current scientific research status and outputs of the three departments (Biology, Chemistry and Health and Environmental Science), such as the number of students, student progression to degree completion and teaching and research achievements. He recognised the achievements and dedication of all the staff, and inspired everyone to forge ahead to even greater heights. Additionally, Professor Moraros emphasized the importance of the workshop, which was marked as the start of the next five-year work plan and set out the School’s specific objectives, goals and outcomes. It was deemed important to try and unify everyone collegially, align the School strategic plan with the future development of the University and focus on developing a cross-disciplinary and collaborative research environment. The Dean called on all staff to share their ideas and suggestions about new programming within each discipline, modeling education reform and scientific research development in a direction that is based on academic best practices, industry-led insights and sound development strategies.

Later the Associate Dean, Professor Li Yang shared with everyone the School’s five-year research strategic plan in detail, which involved an overview of the background of the plan, the School’s research priorities, the research environment, development foundation, the strategic positioning and its research impact. Some specific measures were also proposed during the discussion, such as accelerating the implementation of the strategic plan and further consolidating the focus on key research themes that align with the strengths within the School. The School will also implement a research mentoring program for new staff, assigning each young staff an experienced senior member to engage in mutual learning activities and promote their professional growth and career development. The Associate Dean emphasized that the School of Science is currently in an important stage of consolidation, improvement, and transformation. The major course of action is to encourage frontier exploration in research, implement new recruitment methods for faculty and students, promote academic research, staff training, external cooperation with key industry partners, and provision of the required infrastructure construction to support the production of high-quality outputs based on high-level academic research.

Participating staff exchanged excellent ideas and voiced their constructive opinions on collectively helping to shape the research direction for the School of Science. They offered many valuable suggestions and actively contributed to the discourse with a clear commitment and passion to help support the future research endeavors of the School and University.

Many participants found the workshop to be a valuable experience in providing insights and a sense of direction to the overall strategy for the School.

"I find the development of a strategic plan a fundamental exercise in evaluating our past trajectory, current strengths and future possibilities. The Science School has developed its first strategic plan under the leadership of Prof. John Moraros and with input from other leaders and staff of the School of Science and its three departments. My hope is that it will also gain the necessary support from XJTLU leadership, especially in funds needed to execute our strategy, and also that each one of us at the School of Science from leaders, to staff to students can commit to using it as a living document that can be adapted to changing circumstances and challenges known and yet to come. I also hope that the strategic plan will gain support from our extended community of parents of our beloved students and our alumni. This document has the promise of delivering a high-quality international education for our students and developing future leaders that can be problem solvers for the pressing issues of our times such as climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable world. " Professor Uromi Goodale from the Health and Environmental Sciences department shared.

“The first School Research Strategy Consultation Workshop has been very informative by clarifying the Strategic Research Themes of the School, the tools to implement these goals, and also inspiring us of the School’s trajectory in research development in the next 5 years, and how each one of us can make a valuable contribution towards these achievements” said by Dr Magdalini Matziari from the Chemistry department.

Dr Rong Rong from the Biological Sciences also said: “The workshop helped me understand the school's research priorities. The identification of strategic research themes, along with the corresponding strategic actions, will ensure that our research efforts remain aligned with the school's overall mission and vision. I appreciate the emphasis on creating a supportive research environment and culture, as this will be crucial in enabling academic staff to pursue their research work in a supportive and productive environment.”

At the end of the workshop, colleagues were thanked for their active participation and valuable contributions. The workshop was adjourned with the promise to reconvene with a follow up workshop with specific updates during the Fall term in 2023.

16 May 2023