Surveys of researchers in 2017 and 2018 of Latvian origin living abroad conducted by the University of Latvia (UL) Centre for Diaspora and Migration Research show a steadfast interest in engaging in research activities in Latvia (diaspora.lu.lv). At the same time, there is a lack of instruments at the national level for promoting collaboration between scientists in Latvia and abroad. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia (MES) is working on networking solutions for scientists.

Currently, the Latvian National Research Information System (sciencelatvia.lv) includes information on Latvian researchers and their activities, but it lacks information on scientists of Latvian origin living abroad. To make it easier for scientists in Latvia and abroad to find out about collaboration opportunities and find each other - to identify similar research interests and areas - the Centre for Diaspora and Migration Research of the University of Latvia is conducting this research on behalf of MES.

This study includes a survey of scientists with links to Latvia living and/or working abroad to learn about their interest in being included in the Latvian National Scientific Activity Information System database. All scientists of Latvian origin living abroad who are carrying out research in the public, private or non-governmental sector, including studying for a doctorate or master's degree, are invited to participate in the survey. The survey will be open until 25 June 2021 and can be accessed at https://aptauja.migracija.lv. It can be completed in Latvian or English. 

The aim of the previously mentioned research is also to deepen the understanding of the opinion of Latvian scientists working in Latvia and other countries on mutual collaboration. Therefore, in addition to the survey of diaspora scientists, the study also includes focus group interviews with researchers from various disciplines working in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries. These focus groups aim to gain a better understanding of the potential of specific collaboration solutions with partners in Latvia. To find out the views of Latvian researchers and organizations, the study includes a survey of Latvian scientific institutions and in-depth interviews with researchers in Latvia about their experience and vision for collaboration with Latvian researchers abroad.

The report based on the findings of the study will be available this autumn and will include an overview of how Latvian scientists abroad and colleagues in Latvia see solutions for mutual collaboration. The report will also include specific recommendations to foster collaboration and networking. The data controller for survey data generated in this research will be the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Latvia.

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