The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead

“This working paper explores what RRA [Responsible Research Assessment] is, and where it comes from, by outlining fifteen initiatives that have influenced the shape and direction of current RRA debates. It goes on to describe the responses that these have elicited, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of research funders, who have more freedom and agency to experiment and initiate change than other actors in research systems.

The paper also presents the findings of a survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant organisations of the Global Research Council (GRC)—mainly national public funding agencies—with responses from 55 organisations worldwide….”

The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead

“This working paper explores what RRA [Responsible Research Assessment] is, and where it comes from, by outlining fifteen initiatives that have influenced the shape and direction of current RRA debates. It goes on to describe the responses that these have elicited, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of research funders, who have more freedom and agency to experiment and initiate change than other actors in research systems.

The paper also presents the findings of a survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant organisations of the Global Research Council (GRC)—mainly national public funding agencies—with responses from 55 organisations worldwide….”

The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead

“Encouraging interim results of different vaccine trials reflect the speed, innovation and dedication that the research community has shown in its response to Covid-19. But the pandemic has also shone a spotlight on the inner workings of research, and in lots of ways—good and bad—has intensified scrutiny of how research is funded, practiced, disseminated and evaluated, and how research cultures can be made more open, inclusive and impactful.

 

The uncertain possibilities that flow from this moment follow a period in which concern has intensified over several long-standing problems, all linked to research assessment. As attention shifts from describing these problems, towards designing and implementing solutions, efforts are coalescing around the idea of responsible research assessment (RRA). This is an umbrella term for approaches to assessment which incentivise, reflect and reward the plural characteristics of high-quality research, in support of diverse and inclusive research cultures.

This working paper explores what RRA is, and where it comes from, by outlining fifteen initiatives that have influenced the content, shape and direction of current RRA debates. It goes on to describe some of the responses that these have elicited, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of research funders, who have more freedom and agency to experiment and drive change than many of the other actors in research systems.

The paper also presents the findings of a new survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant organisations of the Global Research Council (GRC)—most of which are national public funding agencies—with responses from 55 organisations worldwide….”

Home – Responsible Research Assessment – a virtual conference from the Global Research Council

“Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of international collaboration in research and innovation. The impact of research has become ever more apparent during the pandemic, and so there is a renewed urgency for funders to come together and reconsider how research is assessed and evaluated. 

At the GRC Responsible Research Assessment Conference 2020, participants will be invited to consider the existing sector-wide frameworks on responsible research assessment and have a global discussion on how funders can drive a positive research culture through research assessment criteria and processes. The discussions will reflect on how to support a diverse, inclusive and thriving research sector….”

A pivotal moment for responsible research assessment – Research Professional News

“We’ve been involved in diagnosing, assembling evidence and banging drums about these problems, through initiatives such as the Declaration on Research Assessment (Dora), the Metric Tide report and the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics.

So we welcome signs that attention is shifting towards implementing solutions, and coalescing around a more expansive agenda for responsible research assessment (RRA). Early debates on metrics and measurement have expanded to encompass questions about how to create a healthy work culture for researchers, how to promote research integrity, how to move from closed to open scholarship, and how to embed the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion across the research community.

This more holistic approach can be seen, for example, in UK Research and Innovation’s commitment to a healthy research culture, and in the recent guidelines on good research practice from the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Next week’s Global Research Council virtual conference on RRA—hosted by UKRI in ?collaboration with the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics and South Africa’s National Research Foundation—comes at a pivotal time….

Declarations and statements of principle have been an important part of this story. But even though we have co-authored some of these, we feel the time for grand declarations has passed. They risk becoming substitutes for action.

RRA now needs to focus on action and implementation—testing and identifying what works in building a healthy and productive research culture. Institutional commitments must be followed by the hard graft of reforming cultures, practices and processes….”