Thematic research prioritization in the EU and the Netherlands: an assessment on the basis of content analysis
AbstractWith the upsurge of the knowledge economy, a balanced and professional setting of science and technology research priorities is becoming increasingly important. Priority setting in general - and in the European Union Framework Programmes (FP) in particular - has often been criticized by many academics, who tend to describe them as ‘Loch Ness monsters of bureaucracy’: new granting rules and funding terminologies tend to appear almost every five years; the procedures involved in granting awards are often considered as impregnable and unclear; and the decision-making process is sometimes rather different from classical, quality- controlled peer-review systems. In practice, researchers often prefer small-scale transparant national research programmes over the European FPs, provided they are based on quality criteria. This paper aims to provide: (i) a critical overview of mechanisms for establishing priorities in research programmes (or themes); and (ii) an assessment approach to the current practices of setting research priorities in the EU and the Netherlands in particular, by means of counting procedures based on statistical content analysis. Our investigation of the EU and Dutch national theme priority-setting experiences shows that the two mechanisms are largely complementary and, as such, can prove an important stimulus for further excellence, collaboration and connectivity in the complex world of science policy.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0023.
Date of creation: 2008
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knowledge economy; triple helix; priority setting; content analysis;
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