BM 64 – On the process of designing a new research funding allocation system in Sweden

03.05.2013
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Recently the Swedish government initiated an inquiry into and with the mission to suggest a new resource allocation system for research with the main commission going to the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).
ESU finds it encouraging and commendable that the mission statement for the inquiry clearly states that a future resource allocation system should be one based on collegial assessments so as to judge each research field on the basis of their unique conditions.  As for the further expressed wish to include indicators that would take into account the “relevance” and “benefit” for the society of the research, we are cautiously positive, but only in so far as the understanding and definition of the relevance and benefit for the society is understood broadly and from different perspectives throughout the process.

Furthermore we would like to stress the importance to the Research Council to work with the Swedish National Union of Students (SFS) to include the connection between research and education, and the inclusion of students in research among the indicators. Just as it would be fatal to design a resource allocation system that doesn’t take all subjects condition into account, it would be a great mistake to forget about the students’ perspectives.

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