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The effectiveness of national research funding systems

The objective of this study is to discuss the variation in the competition-based allocation of public research funding (not R&D funding) to higher education institutions in European Union Member States as well as the causes and consequences of these differences. This study provides an overview of the national research funding systems in Member States, including the mechanisms of the allocation of resources. It demonstrates the differences in the competition-based allocation of funding, the specific ways quality is assessed and the international openness of the national research funding systems. The outcome of the study is an assessment of the factors seen as crucial for the differences in the level of competition-based allocation of funding in the identified Member States, and an assessment of the impact of the level of competition on the quality of research. The study draws analytical conclusions about the impact of the results for research and innovation policies and particularly for the European Research Area.


Policy Brief

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Workshop summary

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10.00 – 10.30

Welcome and introduction

Welcome & Tour de table

  • Philippe Martin, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

  • Fabienne Gautier, Head of Unit (acting) “ERA policy and reform”, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

10.30 – 11.45

Current state of affairs

Context and rationale of the FundSys study

  • Prof. Dr. Luc Soete, Chairman, European Research and Innovation Area Board (ERIAB)




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Results from the FundSys study

  • Leonique Korlaar, Dialogic (Netherlands)



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12.00 – 12.45

Research funding and research performance: an overview

Performance-based funding

  • Gunnar Sivertsen, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) (Norway)





13.45 – 15.30


Policy implications

Policy options derived from the FundSys study

  • Pim den Hertog, Dialogic (Netherlands) 




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Research funding policies: the case of the United Kingdom

  • David Sweeney, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (United Kingdom)




 15.30 – 16.00



  • Prof. Dr. Luc Soete, Chairman of ERIAB






  • Philippe Martin, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation

Moderation: Stefan Lilischkis, empirica, Bonn