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

  • Scientist reading scientific data in a laboratory

    Project

    Updating an Evaluation of Grant Peer Review in the Health Sciences

    15 Jun 2018

    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.

  • Medical researcher uses pipette to drop blood on a sterile slide

    Project

    Evaluating the Impact of EU R&D into PRNDs

    21 Feb 2018

    EU-funded research and development into poverty-related and neglected diseases has had a significant impact on strengthening research capacity in low- and middle-income countries, but its effects on encouraging universal health coverage is less clear.

  • Students raise their hands during class

    Project

    Exploring Why an Incentivised Pay Study Failed to Recruit Enough Teachers

    05 Feb 2018

    Researchers tried to conduct a randomised control trial to understand whether UK teachers could be motivated with incentivised pay and coaching, but they failed to recruit enough participants. To help future studies, they changed their research to explore why the recruitment effort failed.

  • Night view of Hong Kong

    Project

    Reviewing the Hong Kong Research Grants Council

    03 Nov 2017

    The Hong Kong Research Grants Council has established a positive reputation as the territory's primary research grant funder. Stakeholder interviews uncovered many positive views about what the council has achieved, as well as suggestions for improvement.

  • Man reviewing a document

    Commentary

    Tracking Global Trends in Open Peer Review

    27 Oct 2017

    Open peer review is happening in a variety of forms, but it still accounts for a small percentage of reviews carried out, and it is not clear whether open peer review is increasing in usage. In the future, as the Publons dataset grows, it will be worth exploring the data in more detail.

  • Three scientists working in a lab looking at petri dishes

    Commentary

    Can Open Science Help to Make Research More Accessible?

    13 Oct 2017

    The leading principle of open science is that anyone, whether they are part of the research community or the public, should be able to access scientific knowledge. Free circulation of knowledge, the sharing of research results, and transparency of methodology are core tenets of the scientific method.

  • Sign with arrows pointing direction to the United Kingdom

    Commentary

    Professional Expectations, Families and Brexit Shape Future for UK International Researchers

    05 May 2017

    Mobility has become an even higher priority for researchers since the results of the UK’s EU referendum, Brexit. To continue to attract and keep top talent, the UK needs to understand how and why researchers move between countries.

  • People working on a document together

    Commentary

    Why We Need to Experiment with Grant Peer Review

    04 Apr 2017

    More than 95 per cent of academic biomedical research funding is controlled by peer review of grant applications. It is generally cited as the gold standard for awarding funding, but it appears most effective when used conservatively.

  • The word Truth appearing behind torn brown paper

    Commentary

    In a 'Post-Truth' World, Evidence and Experts Matter More Than Ever

    16 Dec 2016

    For policymakers and politicians, evidence should be at the heart of everything because it is crucial to the policymaking cycle. It frames what kind of questions need to be asked, what research or analysis needs to be done, what policy options can be considered, and how they should be evaluated. Put simply, we need evidence to know what works and why.

  • Illustration of small people on books analyzing data, photo by apinan/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Helping universities measure their research impact

    20 Nov 2016

    ImpactFinder helps universities manage their research funding submissions to UK Higher Education Funding Councils and identify and review impact case studies that meet the requirements of the Research Excellence Framework.

  • geodesic dome

    Project

    How Can Research Be Evaluated?

    14 Nov 2016

    Because of the growing demand for transparency and accountability in research evaluation, researchers developed a comprehensive list of evaluation tools and techniques and explained when each might be most useful and why. They then offered a list of 100 ideas for metrics that can be used to assess and communicate the value of biomedical research.

  • A doctor looking at an image of a human brain on a tablet

    Commentary

    Who's Funding Mental Health Research Worldwide?

    17 Aug 2016

    The size and diversity of mental health research is significant, but it remains a loosely defined field in which funders tend not to spell out what counts as mental health. An outline of the current state of mental health research funding worldwide helps to address the huge challenges of mental illness.

  • A group of people collaborating

    Commentary

    What Can We Learn from High-Performing Research Units?

    28 Jun 2016

    Central characteristics of high-performing research units are the high quality of the people and the culture and values displayed within the department, which is often a result of leadership. It is also interesting to explore their differences, such as what makes a unit particularly good at having impact versus producing high-quality publications.

  • Scientists working in a lab

    Project

    The National Institute of Health Research at 10 Years

    18 May 2016

    To mark the NIHR's tenth anniversary, the UK Department of Health commissioned an impact synthesis of how NIHR has benefited the health research landscape.

  • Group of people discussing research funding

    Commentary

    Why Research Funders Looking for Impact Need to Be 'DECISIVE'

    14 Apr 2016

    Funding decisions in the UK direct the flow of billions of pounds of public and philanthropic funding but there is little evidence to suggest how to allocate grants to researchers to increase the chances that the work they support changes lives and improves society. New research helps inform funders' strategies.