On your marks, get set, fund! Rapid responses to the Covid-19 pandemic

Vingre, Anete and Kolarz, Peter and Bryan, Billy (2022) On your marks, get set, fund! Rapid responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. fteval Journal for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation (53). pp. 8-17. ISSN 1726-6629

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Official URL: https://fteval.at/content/home/journal/aktuelles/

Abstract (english)

This paper presents findings from an analysis of seven multidisciplinary national research funders’ responses to COVID-19. We posit that while some parts of research and innovation funding responses to COVID-19 were ‘pandemic responses’ in the conventional biomedical sense, other parts were thematically far broader and are better termed ‘societal emergency’ funding. This type of funding activity was unprecedented for many funders. Yet, it may signal a new/additional mission for research funders, which may be required to tackle future societal emergencies, medical or otherwise. Urgency (i.e., the need to deploy funding quickly) is a key distinguishing theme in these funding activities. This paper explores the different techniques that funders used to substantially speed up their application and assessment processes to ensure research on COVID-19 could commence as quickly as possible. Funders used a range of approaches, both before application submission (call design, application lengths and formats) and after (review and decision-making processes). Our research highlights a series of trade-offs, at the heart of which are concerns around simultaneously ensuring the required speed as well as the quality of funding-decisions. We extract some recommendations for what a generic ‘societal emergency’ funding toolkit might include to optimally manage these tensions in case national research funders are called upon again to respond to future crises.

Subjects: Evaluation of Programmes
Policy, Fields & Systems Evaluation
Uncontrolled Keywords: Forschungsförderung, F&I-Politik, COVID-19, Peer Review
Identification Number: 10.22163/fteval.2022.538
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2022 17:32
URI: https://repository.fteval.at/id/eprint/598

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