Funder strategies for promoting research addressing societal challenges: thematic, impact, and collaboration targeting

Maria Theresa Norn*, Kaare Aagaard, Josefine Bjørnholm, Andreas Kjær Stage

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Research funding instruments are increasingly targeted towards research that can contribute to solutions of complex societal challenges. How funders in practice seek to steer research towards addressing such challenges is, however, not well understood. This study explores how public, challenge-oriented funding instruments from three Northern European countries have been designed and deployed to steer funded research in desired directions. Our findings shed light on the practical levers that public funders use to influence research. The study also illustrates how these efforts are influenced by differences in their governance as well as in the choices they make about how to balance aims of promoting research excellence with aims of steering research towards other desired means and ends (e.g. economic and societal impact). Our findings highlight dilemmas and trade-offs in funders' targeting efforts to influence the direction and outcomes of research, which ultimately influence the success of such efforts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience and Public Policy
Number of pages13
ISSN0302-3427
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

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