Coordination modes in public funding systems
The aim of this paper is to look at public research funding systems from the perspective of their broader institutional arrangements, in order to observe how these shape the relationships between funding agencies and research actors. Accordingly, public funding is considered as a multilevel and multiactor system, where stable patterns are largely generated by the collective interaction among actors (beyond formal rules and structures) and where coordination between actors (especially funding agencies and performers) represents a key for the functionality of the systems. This drives to characterise the main organisational forms of public research funding in terms of their underlying coordination mode and to use this framework to evaluate them against a number of criteria. Further, the way how these organisational forms can be combined to yield national-level configurations is discussed, and some of their properties and conditions of functioning are derived from the previous discussion; this also leads to identification of three main configurations of funding systems - the project-based model, the mixed model, the vertically integrated model - which describe the variety of national systems and, to a large extent, underpin current discussion on European research policy.
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