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Issues in Networking and Research Funding for the European Association of Health Law

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All academics, perhaps with the exception of those who are hermits with independent private means, are concerned with questions of networking and research funding. The nature of academic life is to search out new ideas and revisit old ones, and to discuss these ideas with others. This requires networks of colleagues and funding to provide the basic resources of time and literature. This may be at the local level, but increasingly the expectation is that these activities should become more and more elaborate; our networks are now international, and our time and resources cost ever increasing amounts which, for many if not most academics, must be found outside the general budget of the home University. Our success as academics is measured, in increasing part, on our ability to show our networking and external funding credentials. There is a more resounding reason to pursue both networking and externally funded research: through such projects the experience of each individual can be increased such that the result is far greater than one could achieve alone. Networking and external funding are not ends in themselves, but they can and should be a great enhancement to academic life and contribution. None of this is news or a novel claim; it is simply today's environment.

This paper considers some opportunities for how networking and externally funded research might help the EAHL to realise its aims in developing the discipline of health law. We, as authors, do not claim any special expertise in the area, and readers are quite justified in thinking “who are they to talk to us about what we clearly know much more about?” However, we were asked to start a discussion at the inaugural conference of the Association, and the thoughts that we present now were designed to do that. It is a discussion which will form one of the early activities of the Association. Here the paper is divided first issues concerning networking, and second those concerning research funding from sources external to one's home University. We draw upon our own experiences, and would be grateful to hear of better examples, and particularly about contradictory experiences.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor of the Law of Public Health and Care, Department of Health, Ethics and Society, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands;, Email:; 2: Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, INSERM 558 Unit, Toulouse, France;, Email:


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