Establishing New Thematic Networks

Here you can find guidelines for establishing a Thematic Network.

When you plan a new Thematic Network (TN), there are issues to be remembered:

  • The leader (=the host) of the network has to come from UArctic member institution, which has to give the support for the proposed thematic network in a form of support letter (more information below in specific guidelines).
  • A thematic network consists of individual experts from at least three UArctic member institutions. These can include the host institution.
  • A thematic network should have partners from different regions for including diversity of its members.
  • A thematic network can also have partners from non-UArctic member institutions, but representatives from UArctic member institutions shall have majority in any internal decision-making structure.

Step by step timeline: What to do with a new idea for a thematic network?

Four to six months before the next UArctic assembly meeting

1. Contact the thematic networks leadership office

When a new idea for a thematic network is born, first thing to do is to contact Vice President Networks Kirsi Latola (contact information below). This is to make sure that the idea is novel and not already covered by existing thematic networks. She will also give guidance throughout the process of establishment.

2. Secure the host organization’s support

It is most important that host organization is committed to the work as a leader of the thematic network. The commitment has to be both in financing the travel, possible activities, and allocating work hours for the leader of the thematic network. If the host institution fails to support the leadership of the planned thematic network, it is not sustainable, and objectives and goals are often evaded. Therefore, the Letter of Support signed by the host institution’s rector/vicerector/provost for a proposed thematic network has to be attached to the proposal. This is to make sure that hosting of a new thematic network is supported by host institution’s leader.

Please note: After the final endorsement in second year, the rector, vice-rector or provost has to sign a Memorandum of Understanding together with the UArctic ry.

3. Write up a proposal and submit it (with the Letter of Support) to the Vice President Networks, by February 28, 2025

The proposal is written in free form, and it has to include the following issues:

  • The thematic focus area of the network
  • What are the goals and planned activities of the network? (as an example, developing joint educational programs, conducting joint research projects, student/teacher mobility)
  • How Indigenous issues are included in TN’s operation?
  • Quality control at the network
    • How TN defines the quality on its own terms
    • How UArctic member organizations and institutions will benefit from the new TN, what is the added value in establishing such a network?
    • What kind of quality control has been already done in TN partner institutions’ educational programs, courses etc (i.e. in accepting new program/course, student feedback and tutoring)
  • Has network already been awarded some funding? If so, for what activities?
  • List the names of partners and their home organizations and email address, name and contact information of the host organization and leader.
  • For the webpage to be established (after the endorsement by the Assembly of UArctic), please provide also: short description on the overall goal, main activities, current and planned activities, and a profile picture for your TN webpage.

4. Wait for the evaluation comments sent to you by Vice President Networks

Before the proposals are sent to the Assembly of UArctic, the evaluation processes are carried out.

The summary of the evaluations will be sent to the hosts of the proposed thematic networks within two weeks after the proposal submission. This gives time for possible revisions of the proposals. If the hosts of the proposed thematic networks are dissatisfied with the evaluation summary an appeal can be made to Ma-Mawi. The Assembly of the University of the Arctic endorses the new thematic networks in their annual meeting, so evaluation report is a suggestive document, not a decision. The evaluation reports will be added to the Assembly documents with proposals.

5. Send the final proposal by April 1, 2025

The final version has to be sent to the TN office before the proposals are sent to the UArctic secretariat for submission to preparation process for the assembly meeting. The leaders of the proposed thematic networks have to make sure that the correct version of proposal will be sent to the assembly members.

6. Present the proposal at the UArctic Assembly meeting

The leader or another representative of the proposed thematic network is obligated to participate the council meeting where he/she will present the planned thematic network to the assembly followed by the voting for the establishment of the new thematic networks for a one provisional year.
NOTE. The endorsement will be first given for a one-year period. On a second year if new thematic network can show that activities have been planned and/or initiated the endorsement will be final. The endorsement proposal at that point is done by the Thematic Networks Leadership Office.

After the final endorsement in a second year The Memorandum of Understanding between host institution and UArctic ry. has to be signed within six months after the final endorsement.

Contact information:
Vice-President Networks Kirsi Latola
UArctic Thematic Networks Leadership Office
Thule Institute
P.O.Box 7300
FIN-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Tel: +358-40-0274 056