Decision-making is a crucial theme for RoRI and its partners, with multiple dimensions:
- Prioritisation: How are high-level priorities set within research systems - by governments, funders, research institutions and others? How effective are framing devices, such as challenges and missions, and what effects do these have? How do we determine an appropriate balance between responsive, discovery-led research, and more directed and applied modes? What role, if any, should geography and place play in research prioritisation? How can we ensure diverse perspectives in prioritisation - including from the global south and marginalised groups - and can we identify the effects of greater diversity on the qualities and outcomes of decision-making?
- Productivity: What do we mean by scientific productivity, and how do we measure it? Is it true that 'Science is getting less bang for its buck'or that ideas are 'getting harder to find?' Do national and regional disparities in research intensity translate into disparities in economic performance?
- Allocation: What is the relationship between grant and team size, and research outcomes and impacts? What are the effects of introducing new modes of allocation, such as randomisation, on diversity, outcomes and researcher burden? What's the problem with a bias against novelty, and what are optimal levels of novelty in any system?
- Measurement and evaluation: What is the state of the art in measurement of outcomes and impact? How can we broaden and diversify criteria and indicators used in the evaluation of research and researchers? How do we interrogate claims of impact and treatment effects, hold funders more accountable, and avoid capture by disciplinary or other vested interests?