Experiments with randomisation in research funding: scoping and workshop report (RoRI Working Paper No.4)
Worldwide, there is growing interest in applications of randomisation, or lottery-type mechanisms, within the grant funding system, and a small but growing number of research funders are now undertaking trials on various scales. This is part of wider moves in research systems towards experimentation and testing of methods of prioritisation, allocation and evaluation.
A number of funders involved in such experiments are partners in the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), and through its work on randomisation, RoRI aims to support these and other partners as they plan, design, undertake and evaluate further trials of randomisation.
RoRI hopes to facilitate closer alignment and learning from experiments that are underway or planned, enabling its partners—and the broader research community—to build a richer collective and comparative picture of the pros, cons and possibilities of these and related approaches designed to test and improve methods of evaluation, assessment and allocation.
The aim of this short working paper is to summarise recent work in this area, supplemented by partners’ experiences, which can support the RoRI consortium in clarifying the priorities of its work—and laying the foundations for further funder experiments beyond RoRI’s pilot phase.