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Data source and methodology

The OECD/RIHR survey to CoEs was mainly based on multiple-choice questions. However, it also included fields for optional comments, and this chapter draws on both the quantitative and qualitative data provided. In some instances it refers to specific examples from the case studies presented in Part II, Chapters 5 to 10.


A total of 304 centres in 14 OECD member countries responded to the survey. However, some of the centres were not associated and funded through an REI programme as defined in this study. As described in Chapter 1, the seven criteria used to identify REIs are as follows:

  • • government-level funding of selected research units and institutions
  • • exceptional quality in research and research-related activities
  • • long-term funding (a minimum of four years)

• funds are competitive and are distributed on the basis of peer-reviewed applications

• applicants are required to participate in selection processes with fixed time frames

  • • institutions or research units (instead of individuals) apply for the funds as a collective body
  • • funding is substantially larger than for individual project-based funding (a general lower limit of USD 1 million a year per centre).

Of the 304 centres responding to the survey, 258 were matched with a REI programme and categorised as a CoE in this study. 3 In some cases, responses that did not fit the definition used to classify a centre as a CoE are analysed in a separate box in this Chapter (Boxes 3.1 and 3.3), as the information provides comparative information for policy makers.

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