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Enhancing the contribution of research councils to the generation of evidence to inform policy making

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Abstract:

Over the last 10 years, UK government funding for research channelled through the UK's seven research councils has substantially increased. Over the same time period there has been a renewed emphasis on the more effective use of evidence in UK policy making. Concerns remain, however, that these two initiatives have not been sufficiently well linked, and that the research councils could be more effective in supporting the development and communication of the evidence base for UK policy making. This paper examines the current 'state of play', concludes that many of the knowledge transfer initiatives that have been put in place do not reach sufficiently deeply into the research funding system, and recommends 10 changes to the planning, management and structure of research funding in order to enhance the policy value of UK research. A brief review of research funding issues in other countries points to the potential relevance of these conclusions and recommendations.

Keywords: POLICY-ORIENTED RESEARCH; RESEARCH COUNCILS; RESEARCH FUNDING; SCIENCE-INTO-POLICY

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426410X524848

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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