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

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

    Project

    Evaluating the Impact of EU R&D into PRNDs

    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.

    21 Feb 2018

  • Students raise their hands during class

    Project

    Exploring Why an Incentivised Pay Study Failed to Recruit Enough Teachers

    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.

    05 Feb 2018

  • Night view of Hong Kong

    Project

    Reviewing the Hong Kong Research Grants Council

    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.

    03 Nov 2017

  • Man reviewing a document

    Commentary

    Tracking Global Trends in Open Peer Review

    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.

    27 Oct 2017

  • Three scientists working in a lab looking at petri dishes

    Commentary

    Can Open Science Help to Make Research More Accessible?

    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.

    13 Oct 2017

  • Sign with arrows pointing direction to the United Kingdom

    Commentary

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

    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.

    05 May 2017

  • People working on a document together

    Commentary

    Why We Need to Experiment with Grant Peer Review

    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.

    04 Apr 2017

  • The word Truth appearing behind torn brown paper

    Commentary

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

    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.

    16 Dec 2016

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

    Project

    Helping universities measure their research impact

    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.

    20 Nov 2016

  • geodesic dome

    Project

    How Can Research Be Evaluated?

    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.

    14 Nov 2016

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

    Commentary

    Who's Funding Mental Health Research Worldwide?

    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.

    17 Aug 2016

  • A group of people collaborating

    Commentary

    What Can We Learn from High-Performing Research Units?

    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.

    28 Jun 2016

  • Scientists working in a lab

    Project

    The National Institute of Health Research at 10 Years

    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.

    18 May 2016

  • Group of people discussing research funding

    Commentary

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

    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.

    14 Apr 2016

  • Old greenhouse in the botanical garden in Cambridge UK

    Project

    Measuring Spillovers Between UK Public, Charity and Private Medical Research

    The King’s Policy Institute, the Office of Health Economics and RAND Europe developed a methodology to estimate how many pounds of pharmaceutical industry R&D is stimulated in the UK by public or charity spending on medical research.

    11 Apr 2016