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Main messages from the study

The final section of this chapter draws together the main points emerging from the study to highlight key messages. It then raises some issues for the design of REIs, and provides an outlook on possible developments in terms of REIs as a funding instrument for research.

REI funding schemes and excellence in research

The results of this study highlight that the objectives of REIs are achieved through a variety of specific tools and management practices that aim, among others, at:

  • • enhancing interdisciplinary research and co-operation
  • • attracting foreign talent
  • • training young scholars through doctoral and post-doctoral programmes
  • • enhancing competition and increasing the visibility of research.

REIs are designed to ensure long-term funding and to provide research centres with more stable resources than other types, such as project funding, in order to carry out ambitious, complex research agendas. This is especially important for those novel lines of research that can lead to significant scientific developments, but are risky and may be difficult to develop through short-term project funding. REIs make it possible to fund such research.

The average funding cycle of the REIs examined in this study is around six years. This relatively long duration creates the stability needed to set up the required research infrastructures and hire talent from both national and international job markets and to establish the conditions required for research co-operation and interdisciplinary research and to achieve ambitious research goals.

 
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