Applied Research Program: Research Philosophy and Values | UBIS

Research Philosophy and Values

1. Introduction: Research Philosophy and Values

Historically, innovation in education and applied sciences has been part of the DNA of the university, including some areas of research. The outlook is oriented towards an emphasis on future trends.

UBIS’ research activities are aligned with the mission and goals of the university. The main focus of activity is the Applied Research Program, which links research activities to areas of work of faculty and students and delivers specific outcomes.

Research is key to the development of the institution, because it allows in-house generation of case studies and best practice cases. These can be shared beneficially within UBIS’ network by providing research results and studies as a return on investment. Faculty development is assisted by the research activities because faculty are kept up-to-date on recent trends and teaching practices benefit.

2. Faculty, Students and Research

In its early stages, UBIS’ educational programs were not integrated with any major focus on research. However, in recent years, UBIS’ growing local and global network has allowed the university to go beyond the traditional delivery of business and international relations education by offering hands-on training and research opportunities. Faculty and students are given access to development of experimental approaches to teaching, technological solutions and related areas of applied research. This has happened progressively, with faculty leading individual research and students getting opportunities to participate in research-related activities. This has led to the creation of this research strategy.

Given the size of the institution, the strategy expects two to five faculty to be involved in research, as part of their responsibilities and the other faculty upon interest.

Collaboration with other schools and organizations may be beneficial for certain research projects. UBIS’ Global Student Research Project is a multi-faceted applied research project which allows engagement of global UBIS faculty and students, focusing on common goals and objectives.

Student satisfaction surveys are used for institutional research about what can be learned from different teaching methodologies, educational tools and delivery modes. This is an example of hands-on research.

The Applied Research Program is a conservative and safe investment, because it allows the school to produce its own internal research, rather than having to buy external research and case studies. In line with this, some of the research is being supported by the school, while other research is being encouraged but then carried out by individual faculty members independently from the school.

3. Research Areas

Based on discussions and analysis of the fields of expertise in the UBIS network, the following areas appear to be appropriate:

  1. Distance and Online Education (synchronous and asynchronous teaching) in relation to interculturality and multilingualism in the global business environmentHybrid education, with innovative delivery methods has long been part of UBIS practices. In recent times, education has fundamentally changed as a consequence of evolving distance and online technologies. This has stimulated applied research to be carried out on in-house best practices. With the Covid-19 pandemic, technology has become even more essential to any educational institution. UBIS will focus on lessons learned both before and during Covid-19.Another interesting aspect is that, while UBIS’s sole language of teaching is English, the majority of UBIS students are not native English speakers. Research around multilingualism in education is therefore relevant, especially when it is paired with the analysis and use of digital technologies serving education.It should also be noted that the reality of students is very different depending on where they live. While educational technology is considered a normality in developed countries of the Northern hemisphere, this is not the case in many other parts of the globe. This has implications for teaching and learning in UBIS’ multinational student and faculty body. Our highly diverse student body provides a very experience-rich resource for applied studies on the availability, suitability and pertinence of different online and off-line teaching methodologies.
  2. Digital Strategies and Cybersecurity in. EducationWhile a separate topic, this theme is connected to education and technology, as described above. There are eight quickly evolving major areas relating to digital security and these areas coincide with areas of concern within the educational system. UBIS faculty have expertise and connections in the digital strategies and cybersecurity field.
  3. Human Rights and Business EthicsGeneva Is widely recognized as the ‘Capital of Human Rights’. This is because it is home to many human rights-based organizations, including the UN High Commission on Human Rights (UNHCHR). Human rights issues such as business ethics, ethical finance and corporate social responsibility are very relevant to UBIS’ educational mission and are amenable to applied research assisted by information technology.
  4. Business and DiplomacyUBIS’s. location in Switzerland and more specifically in Geneva places it at the cross-roads of business and diplomacy. The University has the opportunity to connect with a variety of international agencies such as the ILO (International Labor Organization), WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), WEF (World Economic Forum) and WTO (World Trade Organization) to conduct research at the intersection of business with diplomacy.
  5. Sustainable Development, Business Ethics and InnovationSustainability is a cross-cutting topic of major concern to a wide variety of businesses and organizations. It is a lively research area in which some UBIS faculty are already directly and indirectly involved. Developing economies are faced particularly with the challenges relating to sustainable development.


4. Collaboration with Industry Partners

Many UBIS faculty members are adjunct faculty, who are also business leaders and consultants in the area of industry and organization-related work. This constitutes a network that is a rich source for case studies and applied research projects. Additionally, many students are involved in preparing business plans for businesses that are not only developed on paper but are actually getting implemented. Younger students are carrying out internships that provide the basis for case studies. All of the above are sources for academic studies and entry into otherwise relatively closed environments, not easily accessible to traditional academic institutions.

5. Research Faculty Engagement and Development

UBIS’ key research faculty are all PhD holders. Their contracts allocate time to applied research upon agreement and when appropriate. New faculty members receive training in the use of UBIS’ research tools and procedures. They are introduced to the institution’s research programs and led to do research with more experienced faculty, sometimes involving other institutions. Appropriate internal funding is made available to support their endeavours.

6. Research Process, Application to Publish and Ethics

UBIS encourages the participation of faculty members, external advisors, students and staff, who are welcome to provide feedback beneficial to individuals, the university and the community. The members of the organization’s team play a key role in the definition of its policies.

  1. ProcessAmong other values already defined in this strategy, UBIS research activities are oriented toward transparency, commitment, integrity, and teamwork. The people-centered policy supports diversity of opinion and constructive feedback to promote continuous growth of the school. The Board of Trustees delegates overall research responsibility to the Head of Research Activities, who reports to the Provost.
    • The Head of Research Activities is responsible for:
      • Preparing an annual budget, which is approved annually by the Board of Trustees;
      • Establishing and working within a research strategic plan with targets and initiatives determined and reviewed on an annual basis;
      • Developing opportunities and providing direct non-monetary recognition of individual contributions;
      • Promoting the benefits of research within the University and in the wider community;
      • Offering a wide range of research opportunities to all students.
  2. Application to Publish ArticlesThe study language of the University is English. Many of the publications are in English. In certain cases, other languages may be used when requested and/or appropriate. Submitted articles are all peer-reviewed to meet high academic standards. The best articles will be published by UBIS. Confidentiality of data is respected at all times, in line with UBIS’ Code of Ethics.Please refer to the Research Handbook for all the details of the application process and forms, in compliance with the Research Strategy.

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