Category: Research funding

ARIA and Defence – A Missed Opportunity?

In February the UK government launched The Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA). In this post, Emma Salisbury discusses what role the new agency might play and questions whether the transfer of this policy from its context in the US, where defence spending played a key role in the development of the agency, will deliver comparable … Continued

Short notice research funding calls are bad for researchers and research

Adam Golberg argues that short notice funding calls are an inherently poor mechanism for producing good research projects and that by reducing the time necessary for preparation, such calls introduce inequity into the selection process and potentially damage the reputation of research funders. I’ve worked in Research Development in various roles for about fifteen years, … Continued

Look to the commons for the future of R&D and science policy  

A feature of the research and development landscape brought to the fore by COVID-19, has been the way in which massive public investments in collaborative open scientific research have ultimately led to zero-sum competition between companies, who hold the intellectual property rights to the outputs of this work. Samuel Moore argues, following the work of … Continued

Works of fiction? Impact statements should focus on pathways to impact over short-term outcomes

As a precondition to receiving research funds, many research funders require applicants to state how their project will ultimately achieve impacts prior to any work being undertaken. Reflecting on a study of these impact statements made to the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme, Lai Ma, argues that such statements often introduce a narrow short-term bias … Continued

Nine steps to achieve research integrity and build trust

Demonstrating research integrity is increasingly a demand for institutions receiving funding. However, whilst hundreds of articles have been written on the topic, precisely what this consists of is less clear. In this piece, George Gaskell presents the findings of a large Horizon 2020 study which distilled research integrity into: three areas, nine topics, and many actions. … Continued

Don’t leave us this way: A love letter to Britain from a member of the European research community

In this love letter, Joeri Tijdink voices the perspective of a continental academic who will miss the UK when it leaves the European research community after Brexit. He reflects on the contribution that the UK made, from good journals to bad jokes- and the emotional disturbance that this rift will cause. There is also rock-solid … Continued

From Impact to Inequality: How Post-COVID-19 government policy is privatising research innovation

Post-COVID-19 government policy has included an increase in investment in the UK’s research sector. However, Daniel Hook finds that the emphasis on the impact of this research means that longer-term, less measurable, blue skies research is being pushed into the private sector. Not only is blue skies research the key driver of technological change, but … Continued

As COVID-19 hits Australian universities hard, how have online writing groups enabled researchers to stay connected and sustain their work?

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the instability of funding streams in Australian universities, resulting in an already precarious system for researchers being exacerbated. However, in the face of an ongoing retraction of income which is threatening research and the livelihood of researchers, Dr Lisa Hodge and Dr Jason Murphy discuss the flourishing forms of academic … Continued

A post-pandemic research agenda

As governments refocus their attentions from managing COVID-19 to planning for the aftermath and recovery from the pandemic. Steven Hill, draws on the work of the economists Mariana Mazzucato and Kate Raworth, to suggests now is the time to rethink research policy along more equitable and sustainable lines. This post first appeared on Steven Hill’s personal blog. … Continued

Evidence for Policy in the Wake of COVID-19: Short – Medium – Long Term Impacts

COVID-19 has rapidly and radically reshaped interactions between academics and policymakers and the kinds of evidence being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, Vivian Tseng, considers how research-policy relationships might develop in the short, medium to long term and how research funders might seize opportunities presented by COVID-19 to design equity-centred … Continued