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Promoting Research Excellence

New Approaches to Funding

image of Promoting Research Excellence

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.

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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.

English

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