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

  • Benchmarking phrase on face of pocket watch, photo by tashatuvango/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Examining proposal evaluation processes used in Horizon 2020

    Broadly speaking, proposal evaluation processes in Horizon 2020 were fair and transparent. However, there may be scope to improve consistency and the feedback provided, and to reduce the burden and conservatism of the process.

    03 Feb 2022

  • Wooden people figures with comment clouds above their heads, photo by Andrii Yalanskyi/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Future of REF: Driving a Culture to Maximise High-Quality Research and Impact

    RAND Europe studied the attitudes of the UK’s research community towards the Research Excellence Framework. Through surveys, interviews and focus groups, the study team was able to gain valuable insight into researcher views across disciplines, career stages and types of institutions.

    14 Dec 2021

  • Office employee working with documents at table, photo by New Africa/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Understanding researcher views on REF 2021

    A real-time evaluation of the REF 2021 assessment process found that overall views on the REF are mixed. Many researchers perceive that the REF has a negative influence on UK researchers and the research community, but views on specific aspects and influences of the REF are more nuanced.

    24 Nov 2021

  • Hexagonal tiles with human figures in different colors representing a chain of communicating people, photo by Andrii Yalanskyi/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Engaging Different Types of Practitioners in the Complex Social Policy Area of Adverse Childhood Experiences

    Understanding how stakeholders make sense of and prioritise available evidence can help improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives. A modified Delphi approach could engage with stakeholders with different, overlapping expertise and help open a way to this understanding.

    21 Oct 2021

  • Businessman hands searching information in Stack of papers files on work in office

    Multimedia

    The Future of Research Assessments

    How do researchers expect the types of research they produce to change in the next 5 to 10 years? In this Expert Insights podcast, Catriona Manville and Susan Guthrie discuss the future of the research landscape and how changes may affect the nature of research assessment in the UK.

    17 Sep 2021

  • Geirangerfjord in Norway, a Unesco World Heritage site, photo by MyWorld/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Tackling societal challenges and guiding the future of research and innovation in Norway

    Researchers identified 20 priority missions and 10 structural measures that could help the Research Council of Norway to develop a strong and resilient research and innovation environment across a range of strategic areas.

    09 Aug 2021

  • Illustrated figures with information going between their open heads, photo by exdez/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Commercialisation and Open Science Do Not Have to Be Uneasy Bedfellows

    On the surface, tension exists between commercialization and open science approaches to research. But the two approaches are not irreconcilable—they can exist in harmony and complement one another to generate greater impact from investments in research and innovation.

    06 Aug 2021

  • Illustration of a DNA double helix, by by Siarhei/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Reviewing the role and contributions of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Genome Campus

    An evaluation of the contributions of the Wellcome Sanger Institute found that it acts as a leader in genetics and genomics research and international collaborations, shaped by the institute’s specific values and ethos around openness, data sharing and collaboration.

    20 Jan 2021

  • Suggestion box attached to a wall, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Suggestion_box.jpg">Photo by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/people/20826826@N00">Hashir Milhan</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">CC BY 2.0</a>

    Commentary

    Before Redesigning the REF, a New Survey Could Help in Understanding What Is and Isn’t Working

    September's call for more sustainable and agile research funding signaled a renewed push by research-intensive universities in the UK for a funding and assessment system with a lighter touch. Before embarking on a further round of changes, it is important to listen and learn from researchers and managers about what has and has not worked well.

    06 Oct 2020

  • Doctor's hand and modern laptop computer with virtual icon diagram, photo by everythingpossible/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Understanding the performance of the oncology healthcare system

    Researchers identified a number of key indicators that can be used to analyse elements of the oncology health system from different perspectives, and then used these indicators to create an overarching scorecard for oncology ecosystem performance.

    27 Aug 2020

  • Hand holding a light bulb with cogs inside, photo by ipopba/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Future of Research Outputs

    The changing nature of research outputs has the potential to affect a wide range of organizations and people. A proactive stance could help drive research towards better practices in information storage, sharing and communication, but requires early action and shared goals at a sector level.

    12 May 2020

  • Four hands holding magnifying glasses, photo by solidcolours/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Leading with the Proper Use of Scientific Evidence Is Better Than Hiding Behind It

    Evidence only has scientific meaning when it is part of a body of disciplinary knowledge produced by a community of scientists. Leading with scientific evidence, coupled with a wider values framework, may result in better outcomes for all.

    05 May 2020

  • Impact of a water drop, photo by Davide Restivo/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

    Project

    Helping UK Water Industry Research assess its research impact

    Researchers conducted a series of interviews with UKWIR member organisations and developed recommendations to help the members better understand how to measure research impact in the water sector, and how to create a framework for measuring impact.

    16 Mar 2020

  • Pregnant woman visiting doctor for checkup, photo by Halfpoint/Adobe Stock

    Project

    Understanding the UK's pregnancy research needs and priorities

    A review of the research needs and expenditure on pregnancy in the UK found that £51 million is invested in pregnancy research each year. By contrast, the NHS spends £5.8 billion on pregnancy-related care each year and in 2018/19 litigation claims totalled £2.5 billion.

    14 Jan 2020

  • Scientists working with high tech equipment, photo by gorodenkoff/Getty Images

    Commentary

    What Is the Future of England's Research and Research Assessment?

    Rapid technological developments, changes in public policy, and shifts in the international environment all affect academia. To help understand these effects, RAND researchers asked more than 3,600 academics in England how they expect their research to evolve over the next decade.

    01 Nov 2019