National Museums NI has announced the formation of a new strategic partnership with both Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University to enhance cross-institutional collaboration in a bid to advance cultural research, maximise public engagement and share expertise.
The partnerships will see National Museums NI collaborate with departments across a broad-spectrum of research areas at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University’s Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
At their core, the new agreements outline how the universities will work together with National Museums, with emphasis on collaboration in future research projects and improving access to facilities and expertise between organisations for faculty members, students and staff.
William Blair, Director of Collections at National Museums NI, said the partnerships will help connect researchers with museum collections and leverage collective knowledge resources between the organisations.
“These exciting partnerships open up new areas of research and focus for National Museums NI and the universities involved. Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University conduct world-class and pioneering research. Through close cooperation, utilising the talent pool and our collective expertise, we can continue to highlight the importance and value of our museums through integration with cutting-edge research to improve public awareness and knowledge of National Museums NI collections.”
As well as increasing awareness of opportunities for cross-institutional research, the partnerships also aim to support the development of staff and students.
William continued: “Collaborations such as these establish a basis from which our local universities can benefit from National Museums NI resources, collections and its people. Equally, they allow our staff to access the skills, expertise and facilities available at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University to continue personal and professional development with a view to enhancing the visitor experience at our four flagship museums.”
President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Ian Greer, said: “We are delighted to partner with National Museums NI to collaborate on future research projects and facilitate greater engagement with, and between our staff and students at Queen’s University Belfast.
“Queen’s has enjoyed an excellent relationship with National Museums NI over the years, especially the neighbouring Ulster Museum. We are very proud of the collaborations we have had in the past and look forward to sharing our collective expertise and working closely together in the future.”
Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor and President, Ulster University, said; “As a civic university committed to enhancing the communities we operate in, I welcome the innovative partnership launched today and the impact it will have on research outcomes locally, nationally and internationally. Building on Ulster University’s expertise in the creative industries, we will be working together on areas including research collaboration on projects and PhD topics, student placements opportunities, Public Engagement and sharing of faculties, training and resources. By combining our respective knowledge, experiences and expertise, this partnership will deliver real benefits for our cultural heritage, our staff and ultimately for the general public.”
Students from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University will have the opportunity to participate in and contribute to museum research and collections and avail of placement opportunities.
As part of the partnerships, the organisations will work together to improve public awareness of research and collections by developing a programme of education, outreach and cultural programmes to demonstrate the value and impact of cultural research.