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

  • 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

    06 Oct 2020

    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.

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

    Project

    Understanding researcher views on REF2021

    07 Sep 2020

    To understand researcher perceptions around the Research Excellence Framework, how they view the experience, and how it affects academic environments, RAND Europe is leading a real-time evaluation of the REF 2021 assessment process while researchers submit their work.

  • 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

    27 Aug 2020

    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.

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

    Commentary

    The Future of Research Outputs

    12 May 2020

    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.

  • 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

    05 May 2020

    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.

  • 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

    16 Mar 2020

    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.

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

    Project

    Understanding the UK's pregnancy research needs and priorities

    14 Jan 2020

    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.

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

    Commentary

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

    01 Nov 2019

    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.

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    Commentary

    Outputs of the Future

    11 Oct 2019

    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.

  • 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?

    04 Oct 2019

    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.

  • 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

    26 Jul 2019

    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.

  • clockwork evaluation wheel

    Project

    Designing an evaluation framework for the NHMRC

    17 Jun 2019

    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.

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

    Commentary

    Assessing Confidence in “What Works” in Social Policy

    21 Mar 2019

    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.

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

    Commentary

    How to Design a Research Funder

    11 Mar 2019

    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.

  • Businessman and businesswoman discussing hanging paperwork in office

    Project

    Developing tools to assess research evidence for policymakers and practitioners

    01 Mar 2019

    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.