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

  • 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

    20 Jan 2021

    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.

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

    Project

    Helping to inform the future of research and innovation in Norway

    04 Jan 2021

    Through a mixed-methods, participatory approach, researchers are helping the Research Council of Norway to develop a strong and resilient research and innovation environment in Norway in the strategic areas of oceans, green transition, health and welfare, cohesion and globalisation, and technology and digitalisation.

  • 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.

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

    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.