Highly Cited Researchers case study: Korea University, South Korea

Highly Cited Researchers™ 2021 are based at more than 1,300 institutions. In this interview, we speak with Korea University about how it encourages collaboration, facilitates career growth and accelerates innovative research.


1. Do you have programs to celebrate Highly Cited Researchers?

Korea University promotes various projects to create a research-friendly ecosystem with a focus on social contribution through researcher-centric and practical research along with knowledge creation. We have several programs to recognize research excellence:

  • First, we continuously strive to recognize the high-quality research published by our academics, rather than focusing on the quantity of papers published.
  • Next, we annually award the Stone Pagoda Research Award to the top 3% of researchers, based on their performance in overall research activities over the past year. This includes academic paper and book output and receipt of research funds. The Stone Pagoda Technology Award is given to researchers in the technology transfer area, with fine and outstanding performance.
  • We also support integrated research through proofreading and interdisciplinary research support projects to encourage publication in international academic journals.
  • Our Research Information Analysis Center aims to provide support to researchers in making strategic decisions, including providing research trend analysis reports. A few examples include data-based information on the Sustainable Development Goals, benchmarking data for academic research results in numerous study areas and matching researchers in similar fields.
  • We launched the Future Creative Support Project (KU-FRG) to encourage researchers to conduct creative and challenging research by funding new researchers. This project supports large-scale research projects, including integrated research, basic and rare studies, and international research cooperation.
  • The newly launched Inseong Star Researcher Award will select world-class researchers who could potentially be future Nobel Prize winners and will form a research focus group to inspire researchers’ motivations and strengthen their research capabilities.
  • We also have a department dedicated to research projects under the president of the research department, intended to support researchers strategically and systematically. Critical tasks are carried out by RCs (Research Coordinators), who are nominated among the researchers on the campus based on their research potential and capabilities.
  • Natural science needs ‘space.’ However, it can be difficult to provide an environment with the best conditions where researchers can study freely, so we provide settlement funds to new researchers in the natural science fields. The InSeong Scholarship Fund includes settlement funds, as does the Inseong Star Researcher Award.


2. How does your institution promote the Highly Cited Researchers who work there?

Korea University uses multiple platforms to promote our Highly Cited Researchers. The process starts off with the distribution of press release to the media. Content is mainly focused on the academic achievement of our researchers, and is promoted across other channels such as our webpage, newsletter, and Kakao news which are released once a month. In addition, we post the news on Instagram, Facebook and Naver blogs.

“The Highly Cited Researchers campaign is an opportunity to introduce Korea University’s research competitiveness to our audience.”


3. What value do you see in the Highly Cited Researchers campaign?

The Highly Cited Researchers campaign is an opportunity to introduce Korea University’s research competitiveness to our audience. The Highly Cited Researchers program promotes the excellent performance of our university to the world and reinforces Korea University’s role as a hub that encourages international collaboration, where the best researchers and professionals can circulate and collaborate.


4. Is there anything else you’d like to tell people about your Highly Cited Researchers?

We think Highly Cited Researchers are the most influential researchers leading in their fields. They can generate new value and motivate new researchers by driving research-oriented competitiveness.

Having Highly Cited Researchers in our university is proof of our university’s research capability and we feel very honored that our researchers are among the world’s top 0.1%.

Read our executive summary for a fuller understanding of the researchers on our list and the institutions which support them.