Promoting Research Excellence

Promoting Research Excellence

New Approaches to Funding You do not have access to this content

English
Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/9214021e.pdf
  • PDF
  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/science-and-technology/promoting-research-excellence_9789264207462-en
  • READ
Author(s):
OECD
24 Feb 2014
Pages
216
ISBN
9789264207462 (PDF) ;9789264207455(print)
DOI: 
10.1787/9789264207462-en

Hide / Show Abstract

National research systems face an increasingly competitive environment for ideas, talent and funds, and governments have shifted funds from institutional core funding to project funding, often on a competitive basis, or reward success in raising third-party funds in performance-based funding schemes. It is in this context that "research excellence initiatives" (REIs) have emerged. This is an instrument designed to encourage outstanding research by providing large-scale, long-term funding to designated research units. They provide funds for research and research-related measures, such as the improvement or extension of physical infrastructure, the recruitment of outstanding researchers from abroad and researcher training.

This report presents new evidence on how governments steer and fund public research in higher education and public research institutions through REIs. The report can help inform discussions on future government policy directions by providing information on how REIs work and on the functioning and characteristics of institutions that host centres of excellence. The findings show some of the benefits to be gained through REIs and note some pitfalls to be avoided.

loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Foreword

    This publication is the final report of the OECD Working Party on Research Institutions and Human Resources (RIHR) project on new forms of incentive funding for public research. National research systems face an increasingly competitive environment for ideas, talent and funds, and governments have turned to more competitive forms of funding to promote efficiency and innovation. They have shifted funds from institutional core funding to project funding, often on a competitive basis, or reward success in raising third-party funds in performance-based funding schemes. In this evolving situation, the question of the adequacy of current public funding instruments arises. And it is in this context that "research excellence initiatives" (REIs) have emerged. These are instruments designed to encourage outstanding research by providing large-scale, long-term funding to designated research units. They provide funds for research and research-related measures, such as the improvement or extension of physical infrastructure, the recruitment of outstanding researchers from abroad and researcher training.

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive summary

    National research systems face an increasingly competitive environment for ideas, talent and funds, and governments have turned to more competitive forms of funding to promote efficiency and innovation. They have shifted funds from institutional core funding to project funding, often on a competitive basis, or reward success in raising third-party funds in performance-based funding schemes.

  • Chapter 1. Research excellence initiatives: A new form of competitive research funding

    Public research systems increasingly compete in an international market for talent and funds. At the same time, governments seek to promote efficiency and foster innovation. This chapter discusses "research excellence initiatives" (REIs) as a new type of public research funding instrument. It compares REI funding with institutional core funding and project funding and identifies the similarities and differences between these funding mechanisms. The chapter also presents a brief overview of current trends in government research funding. It discusses the scope of the project, which aimed to collect information on REIs in a systematic and comparable way. Finally, it draws together the main points emerging from the study, and provides an outlook on possible developments in terms of REIs as a funding instrument for research.

  • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts OECD/RIHR Survey results on funding for research excellence initiatives

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Chapter 2. Research excellence initiatives and government ministries

      This chapter presents the results of a survey to government agencies responsible for administering research excellence initiative (REI) funding for higher education and public research institutions. REIs provide funds for research and many research-related measures, such as the improvement or extension of physical infrastructure, the recruitment of outstanding researchers from abroad and the training of researchers. The survey results show that ministries and public funding bodies responsible for REIs judge them positively and report that they reach the objectives of the programmes. New lines of research have opened up, new patterns of interdisciplinary research have been established, human capital has been strengthened, and concentration processes have generally led to enhanced research capacities.

    • Chapter 3. Research excellence initiatives and centres of excellence

      This chapter describes the basic characteristics of centres of excellence (CoEs) funded through research excellence initiatives (REIs) in 14 OECD countries. The analysis is based on quantitative and qualitative information collected by the OECD/RIHR survey to CoEs. It presents results on funding schemes and cycles, research fields, the age profile of CoEs, researchers and the mechanisms to create networks and foster interdisciplinary research. The information and results are also disaggregated by the size of CoEs in order to compare the characteristics of CoEs funded with different intensities. The chapter also examines the management structures between host institutions and CoEs, the reasons for a CoE to pursue interdisciplinary research, the impact of CoE research, and the value of REIs.

    • Chapter 4. Research excellence initiatives and host institutions

      This chapter describes the characteristics of institutions hosting centres of excellence (CoEs) funded through research excellence initiatives (REIs) in ten OECD countries. The survey data are used to provide information on the funding of host institutions (HIs) and CoEs and on their staff. The chapter looks at hosts’ funding strategies, the direct and indirect means of support to CoEs, the way tasks are managed, and the perceived effects of REIs.

    • Add to Marked List
  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Country case studies

    • Mark Click to Access
    • Chapter 5. Denmark: Centres of excellence

      This chapter presents a Danish research excellence initiative (REI), the Investment Capital for University Research (UNIK) and its four centres of excellence (CoEs). It discusses the REI’s aims and funding, its implementation, the fields of science covered, the management and funding of the CoEs, as well as its impact and effects. Overall, the perception is that the initiative has enhanced national research competitiveness and has helped to internationalise Danish research by fostering collaboration between national and international research institutions.

    • Chapter 6. The German Excellence Initiative

      This chapter discusses the German Excellence Initiative (EI) and its three lines of funding. It considers the universities’ approaches to and views on the initiative, the main features of the funding, governance structures, recruitment strategies, collaboration with other universities and with non-university research institutions, co-operation between departments and scientific disciplines, the international visibility of German research, and doctoral training. The EI has had a positive impact on a variety of measures and this has prompted federal and state governments to agree on a second five-year funding phase. More generally, the EI has triggered broad public debate about university research, priority setting and specialisation.

    • Chapter 7. Japanese experience with centres of excellence

      This chapter describes two examples of research excellence initiatives (REIs) in Japan: the Global Centres of Excellence (GCOE) Programme, which aims to strengthen the education and research functions of graduate schools and improve the development of human resources in doctoral programmes, and the World Premier International Research Centres (WPI) Initiative, which aims to create world-class research centres, with a superior research environment and extremely high research standards, by supporting systemic reform at universities. It presents the background and historical development of the two programmes, describes the programmes and ends with a general overview.

    • Chapter 8. Norwegian centres of excellence

      This chapter presents the Norwegian Centre of Excellence (CoE) scheme and its impact on research activities and organisational structures. The scheme is found to increase the visibility, reputation and internationalisation of Norwegian research, but the temporary nature of the CoEs presents challenges for the organisational structures of universities and their faculties. These challenges relate particularly to the allocation of financial resources, the boundaries and autonomy of the centres, the wind-up of centres and responsibility for personnel.

    • Chapter 9. Research excellence in Portugal and its funding

      This chapter discusses Portugal’s centres of excellence (CoEs) and associated laboratories (ALs), which are supported by a multi-year funding programme of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). A considerable share of public research in Portugal takes place in research centres supported by the FCT. The centres are closely linked with higher education institutions and they perform a variety of functions, combining research with training, education and technology transfer, among others. The programme has strengthened research institutions and enhanced research quality by building research capacity.

    • Chapter 10. Research excellence initiatives in Slovenia

      This chapter reviews research excellence initiatives (REIs) in Slovenia. It discusses priority research and technology areas and measures adopted to build interdisciplinary research. The current CoE programme is Slovenia’s largest and most concentrated investment in research and development (R and D). The mid-term evaluation of the programme found signs of progress in international scientific excellence and in linking different spheres of research. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sports plans further support for REIs as a result of the performance of the CoE programme.

    • Add to Marked List
 
Visit the OECD web site