The Effectiveness of National Research Funding Systems

One of the priorities of the European Research Area (ERA), as an integral part of Europe 2020, is to improve the effectiveness of national research systems. Besides more cooperation, and the avoidance of unnecessary duplication of research and infrastructure investment, this also requires more competition in order to ensure that the best researchers and research teams (those able to compete in a increasingly globalised and competitive research landscape) receive funding.

However, the relation between competitive funding and research performance is complex and is questioned in existing literature. As a consequence, the European Commission (DG Research & Innovation) requested a study on the effectiveness of national research funding systems. This study was conducted by Dialogic and Empirica between February and May 2014.

This small scale study examined the relationship between competition and research performance by a literature study, additional quantitative data analysis, country studies, a series of in-depth interviews with both research funders, research performers and other experts regarding research funding and a strategic workshop. See the project website for more information. The final policy brief will soon be available and can be downloaded from this website as well.

Dialogic, July 2014