New Institute to Advance Research on Research
The Research on Research Institute (RoRI) has announced its launch. RoRI is an international consortium of research funders, academic institutions, and technologists working to champion the latest approaches to research on research.
Co-founded by the Wellcome Trust, the universities of Sheffield and Leiden, and Digital Science, the RoRI consortium will undertake transformative and translational research on research (also known as meta-research, science of science or meta-science). By analyzing research systems and experimenting with decision and evaluation data, tools and frameworks, it aims to advance more strategic, open, diverse and inclusive research.
In support of its overall vision for transformative and translational research on research, RoRI has five objectives:
- To support, expand and build capacity for interdisciplinary, mixed-methods research on research (RoR) in the UK and internationally;
- To connect academic capabilities to the data and analytical resources of Wellcome, Digital Science and RoRI’s wider consortium of strategic partners;
- To co-design, experiment and apply new tools, indicators, funding modes, prioritization and evaluation frameworks;
- To critically evaluate RoR methods and support engagement with data and evidence about research systems by decision-makers and society;
- To create an independent space for learning, networking and collaboration between researchers, policymakers, funders & technologists.
Together, the consortium will codesign projects and share data to inform comparative analysis of research systems and cultures, and develop, test and apply novel approaches to decision-making, prioritization, allocation and evaluation.
RoRI’s activities will include partnership projects, a rolling programme of research seminars and webinars, as well as regular reports, working papers and think-pieces. All of its research methodologies and findings will be made openly available. Within RoRI, funders and academic research institutions will also be able to access and use a secure data platform, hosted and managed by Wellcome as a neutral convenor and broker. This will provide a trusted space, where funders and academic research institutions can securely share data, policies and practices for primary research and experimentation.
James Wilsdon, Director of RoRI and Digital Science Professor of Research Policy at the University of Sheffield said: "Worldwide, interest is intensifying in how research is funded, practised and evaluated, and in how research systems can be made more efficient, open, inclusive and impactful. Research on research isn’t new - there is a wealth of excellent work to build on - but it can be poorly joined-up and applied in policies and practices. Working with our consortium of partners, who together invest several billion pounds a year in research, RoRI has a unique opportunity to co-design new methods, and experiment with creative approaches to decision making, prioritization and evaluation."