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Promoting Research Excellence
New Approaches to Funding
OECD Publishing , Publication date:  20 Mar 2014
Pages: 216 , Language: English
Version: Print (Paperback) + PDF
ISBN: 9789264207455 , OECD Code: 922014021P1
Price:   €60 | $84 | £54 | ¥7800 | MXN1080 , Standard shipping included!
Availability: Available
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Other Versions:  E-book - PDF Format

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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.

Table of contents:

Foreword 3
Abbreviations and acronyms 11
Executive summary 15
Chapter 1. Research excellence initiatives: A new form of competitive research funding  19
-Introduction 20
-REIs as research funding instruments 22
-Characteristics of government research funding 26
-Scope of the project and structure of the report 29
-Main messages from the study 30
-Outlook 33
-References 37
Chapter 2. Research excellence initiatives and government ministries 41
-Introduction 42
-Data sources and methodology 42
-Description of REIs 46
-Evaluations and experiences with REI  64
-Summary 70
-References 73
-Annex 2.A1. Additional tables 74
Chapter 3. Research excellence initiatives and centres of excellence (CoEs) 77
-Introduction 78
-Data source and methodology 78
-Basic characteristics of CoEs 80
-Age profile of centres 82
-Management structures and relations between hosts and CoEs 93
-Measuring the impact of research in CoEs 101
-The contribution of REIs 102
-Another example of excellence funding 106
-Summary of the results 108
-References 111
-Annex 3.A.1. List of REIs, COEs and selected variables by country 112
Chapter 4. Research excellence initiatives and host institutions 115
-Introduction 116
-Data source and methodology 116
-Characteristics of host institutions 117
-Administrative arrangements and objectives 118
-Funding schemes 121
-The link between HIs and CoEs funding 124
-Perceived effects of REIs and CoEs 127
-Summary of the results 129
-References 132
Chapter 5. Denmark: Centres of excellence 135
-Public research excellence initiatives: An overview 136
-Investment capital for university research 137
Chapter 6. The German Excellence Initiative 145
-Background and framework conditions 146
-The universities’ approach to the Excellence Initiative 148
-What makes the Excellence Initiative special? 149
-The universities’ view on the application and selection procedures 151
-Internal governance 152
-Budget and administration of funds 153
-Recruitment and recruitment strategies 154
-Collaboration with other universities and with non-university research institutions 155
-International visibility 157
-Collaboration between departments and scientific disciplines 158
-Impact on doctoral training 158
-Summary and conclusions 160
-References 163
Chapter 7. Japanese experience with centres of excellence 165
-R&D activities and tertiary education in Japan 166
-The development of research excellence initiatives 167
-Global COE Programme  170
-World Premier International Research Centre Initiative  174
-Centres interviewed for the case study 177
-Summary of interviews: GCOE Programme 178
-Summary of interviews: WPI 180
-REIs from the perspective of host organisations 181
-Conclusion 184
-References 186
Chapter 8. Norwegian centres of excellence 187
-Introduction 188
-General characteristics of the CoEs 189
-Funding and internal governance of the Norwegian CoEs 190
-Responsibilities and division of labour 192
-Staff and recruitment 194
-General assessment and experiences 196
-Concluding remarks 197
-References 199
Chapter 9. Research excellence in Portugal and its funding 201
-Introduction 202
-Portuguese centres of excellence 203
-Funding and internal governance 206
-Conclusion 209
-References 210
Chapter 10. Research excellence initiatives in Slovenia 211
-Policy setting in Slovenia 212
-The “centres of excellence” research excellence initiative 212
-Implementation of the programme 212
-Mid-term evaluation of the centres of excellence (2009-13) 213
Summary and conclusions 215

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