The KFPE is the information hub for global research partnerships in Switzerland. It promotes efficient, effective, and equitable research cooperation with low- and middle-income countries. By doing so, the KFPE contributes to sustainable development and to solving local and global problems.more

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KFPE Guide - 11 Principles & 7 Questions

KFPE’s Guide for Transboundary Research Partnerships

Based on an extensive consultation process, the KFPE has completely updated its "11 Principles for Research in Partnership" in 2012 and has integrated current trends and experience. In addition, we have also developed 7 fundamental questions that point to factors enabling or hindering research in partnership. The 7 questions are meant to help users to better understand and implement the 11 principles. They examine various aspects of research partnerships and also intend to stimulate reflection and debate. There is an ENGLISH, FRENCH and GERMAN version, which can be downloaded (see also at the right hand side of this webpage) or you can order a .

Why this Guide?

This Guide is intended for:

  • Researchers considering or planning to engage in fair and equal partnership towards a common goal
  • Partnership arrangements striving for innovative research and a a fruitful learning culture, both based on mutual trust and responsibility
  • Funding agencies designing programmes for effective intercultural research collaboration
  • Policymakers aiming at establishing an enabling environment for effective research collaborations
  • Development organisations encouraging contextualisation of scientific knowledge through facilitation and brokering
  • International organisations dealing with knowledge-based solutions to global challenges.

Transboundary and intercultural research in partnership is a continuous process of sound knowledge generation, building mutual trust, mutual learning and shared ownership.

The KFPE’s 11 principles underscore this process. However, there are many types of research in partnership; these have different requirements in terms of interaction, communication, and mutuality. In other words, the principles may have to be applied selectively depending on the partnership.

The 7 fundamental questions on transboundary research partnerships point to factors that hinder or enable partnerships in different contexts; they are designed to help readers better understand the nature and type of a given partnership.
In addition, the 7 key questions are meant to trigger a debate on how to organise transboundary research collaboration in an effective manner, and on how best to translate scientific knowledge into benefits for society.

We would like to thank all those who contributed in one way or another to the revision and new design of the “11 KFPE Principles”; the many valuable comments and feedbacks we received during an international consultation process on draft versions of the documents significantly helped to improve the quality of the final product.

Introducing the KFPE Youtube Channel

Additinal KFPE Guides on specific aspects

Further literature on research partnerships


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The KFPE Guide for Transboundary Research Partnerships with Developing Countries - 11 Principles & 7 Questions has been in use in its current form since 2012. Over the last decade, research partnerships have evolved and been discussed from different perspectives. We plan to revise the KFPE Guide based on the experience of using the guide and discussions on equity and efficiency of research collaborations.