Research on Research

We use a range of innovative methods to help policymakers understand the returns and outcomes from investing in scientific and social research

Research, commentary, and events

  • Public speaker at a research convention, photo by gremlin/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Outputs of the Future

    Are all types of research outputs of equal value? How do different outputs serve different purposes? Exploring these questions could benefit not only funders and universities, but also result in overall better use of research resources.

    11 Oct 2019

  • Man arranging wooden blocks with hand-drawn yellow lightbulbs, photo by Gaj Rudolf/Adobe Stock

    Project

    What is the future of UK research and assessment?

    Although technology, policy, and the international environment are changing the UK research landscape, and many researchers expect to produce more diverse forms of outputs in the future, they also think journal articles and conference contributions will remain the dominant form of output.

    04 Oct 2019

  • May sitting with laptop and reading a report, photo by  jacoblund/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Measuring Up: How to Ensure Peer Review for Grant Applications Remains Up to the Mark

    Expert peer review is considered the gold standard for assessing the validity, significance and originality of research. When it comes to grant applications, however, peer review is not without its shortcomings. Addressing some of the challenges that peer review poses could ensure that the best research receives the financial support it deserves.

    26 Jul 2019

  • clockwork evaluation wheel

    Project

    Designing an evaluation framework for the NHMRC

    The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia, have established a new grant program meant to emphasize fairness, reduce burden, and boost innovation and creativity in research funding processes. Researchers developed an evaluation framework and set of metrics to monitor the performance of the program.

    17 Jun 2019

  • Man loooking at chalked stars on a wall, photo by anyaberkut/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Assessing Confidence in “What Works” in Social Policy

    Policy decisions are increasingly informed (or expected to be informed) by research evidence. Making the process as systematic, transparent and explicit as possible provides users with ways to understand, question and contribute to the eventual policy recommendation, and gives policymakers and practitioners confidence in its credibility.

    21 Mar 2019

  • Group of researchers analyzing data on a computer in a laboratory, photo by skynesher/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Design a Research Funder

    Emerging challenges are leading to an increased emphasis on the impact of research beyond academia. At the same time, funders must adapt to changing expectations about what research can and should deliver, financial austerity, and developments in the topics and methods of research.

    11 Mar 2019

  • Businessman and businesswoman discussing hanging paperwork in office

    Project

    Developing tools to assess research evidence for policymakers and practitioners

    Researchers developed recommendations for the College of Policing and the Education Endowment Foundation on how to assess evidence from research studies and make evidence-informed recommendations for practitioners and policymakers.

    01 Mar 2019

  • Group of people providing input

    Project

    Enabling public contributions to health research

    Patient and public involvement (PPI) in health research can take place at different levels and across stages of a research cycle. Despite challenges, the growing focus on and increased commitment to PPI over the past decade has revealed some key enabling mechanisms and rewards.

    15 Feb 2019

  • Project

    Organising for excellence

    An exploration and review of international evidence around best practices in organisational design for research funding bodies has helped to inform the design of the umbrella organisation UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The research also contributed to decisions around governance structures and strategy.

    15 Feb 2019

  • Bright idea concept with light bulb

    Project

    How to translate research and drive innovation

    To ensure the continued excellence of the UK’s research and innovation (R&I) base, the existence and continuity of funding is key. Additionally, numerous interacting conditions are needed to translate research and stimulate innovation, but there is no ‘magic formula’ for these conditions to be implemented.

    13 Dec 2018

  • Innovation concept with augmented reality

    Project

    Measuring the distribution of benefits of research and innovation

    Economic analyses offer a compelling case for the benefits that research and innovation (R&I) can deliver, but R&I also offers numerous benefits that are either not easily monetised or not well understood. These include benefits to culture, public engagement, social cohesion and the environment.

    13 Dec 2018

  • Thinking outside the box

    Project

    Citizen science generates ideas and explores consensus

    Citizen science-based idea management platforms offer a digital social space to generate, discuss, refine and evaluate ideas. Additionally, a variety of methods exist for exploring expert consensus, many of which are Delphi-based. Researchers provide a practical overview of online approaches to opinion gathering.

    16 Aug 2018

  • A group of university students huddled around a table, going through paperwork and brainstorming

    Project

    Standardising quantitative indicators of impact within REF case studies

    To inform the development of the guidance and criteria for the preparation of impact case studies in Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, we examined the case studies submitted to REF 2014 and identified quantitative indicators of impact. We then developed guidance for how these indicators could be standardised for potential use in REF 2021.

    23 Jul 2018

  • team work concept art

    Project

    Citizen science: crowdsourcing for systematic reviews

    Systematic reviews are often time-consuming and costly. In the second of a three-part learning report series, RAND Europe researchers outline how crowdsourcing can make the systematic review process more efficient without sacrificing quality.

    21 Jun 2018

  • Scientist reading scientific data in a laboratory

    Project

    Updating an Evaluation of Grant Peer Review in the Health Sciences

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research asked RAND Europe to update the 2009 study on grant peer review to provide a more widely applicable source of evidence around the strengths and weaknesses of peer review for grant funding assessment.

    15 Jun 2018