Category: Research policy

Without a clear sense of purpose, what is the future of national research assessment exercises in Australia?

Commenting on the recent review of Australia’s ERA and EIA research assessment exercises, Ksenia Sawczak argues that they lack a clearly defined purpose, or return on investment for Australian universities. In a climate of declining trust in the Austra…

“Minimum expectations” are no way to value the arts, humanities, and social sciences

The UK government recently announced its intention to reduce funding for ‘low value’ degrees in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Drawing on her research into the history of higher education policy, Zoe Hope Bulaitis argues that current governm…

Book Review: Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism by Mariana Mazzucato

LSE MSc Environmental Policy and Regulation candidate, Flora Parkin, reviews Mariana Mazzucato’s new book, Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism, and questions whether it goes far enough to tackle the worsening global climate crisis….

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

Universal Open Science policies risk alienating researchers

Open Science policies are becoming increasingly institutionalised at the national level. However, as Erika Lilja shows, the inherent contradictions of implementing Open Science policies in a uniform manner across all disciplines risks alienating researchers from these policies. Grand challenges, such as inequality and climate change, and sudden global challenges, such as COVID-19, require mission-based and solution-centered … 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

Building new bridges between research and policy during a national lockdown

Annette Boaz and Kathryn Oliver are social scientists with expertise in production and use of evidence for, policy. In this blogpost, they reflect on their recent experiences putting their knowledge into practice at the heart of government during a national lockdown. They describe the significant changes they had to make to their planned programme of … Continued

Common policy problems and what researchers can do about them

Impacting policy is difficult, not only because of the challenges translating research into policy-speak but also because of challenges inherent in the policymaking process itself. These include: the siloed nature of working, the lack of focus on prevention and imperatives for ministers to pursue short-term solutions. In this post, Raj Patel outlines these problems and … Continued