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Minerva

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 279–297 | Cite as

The Evolution of a National Research Funding System: Transformative Change Through Layering and Displacement

  • Kaare AagaardEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article outlines the evolution of a national research funding system over a timespan of more than 40 years and analyzes the development from a rather stable Humboldt-inspired floor funding model to a complex multi-tiered system where new mechanisms continually have been added on top of the system. Based on recent contributions to Historical Institutionalism it is shown how layering and displacement processes gradually have changed the funding system along a number of dimensions and thus how a series of minor adjustments over time has led to a transformation of the system as a whole. The analysis also highlights the remarkable resistance of the traditional academically oriented research council system towards restructuring. Due to this resistance the political system has, however, circumvented the research council system and implemented change through other channels of the funding system. For periods of time these strategies have marginalized the role of the councils.

Keywords

Research funding Funding systems Gradual change Research policy 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research presented in this article has been partly funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the ‘Center for Research Quality and Policy Impact Studies.’ Additional funding was provided by Aarhus Universitet (DK).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Government, Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, School of Business and Social SciencesAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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