The Research on Research Institute (RoRI) – an international consortium of research funders, academic institutions, and technologists working to champion the latest approaches to research on research – launched earlier today.

Co-founded by the Wellcome Trust, the universities of Sheffield and Leiden, and Digital Science, the RoRI consortium will undertake transformative and translational research on research (also known as meta-research, science of science or meta-science). By analysing research systems and experimenting with decision and evaluation data, tools and frameworks, we aim to advance more strategic, open, diverse and inclusive research.

RoRI will be based for an initial two-year incubation phase at Wellcome’s offices in London. To date, eleven strategic partners have expressed their interest in becoming part of the RoRI consortium, including private foundations, academic research institutions, and public funding agencies from eight countries – Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India, Netherlands, Switzerland, and the USA – and one pan-African partner, the African Academy of Sciences.

Together, the consortium will codesign projects and share data to inform comparative analysis of research systems and cultures, and develop, test and apply novel approaches to decision-making, prioritisation, allocation and evaluation.

Chonnettia Jones, Co-Chair of RoRI and Director of Insight and Analysis at Wellcome, said:

“The Research on Research Institute is an exciting new partnership and I am delighted to join as a co-chair. The RoRI demonstrates a clear appetite from key research funders all around the world to reimagine our collective approach to how we can support and encourage excellent research.”

James Wilsdon, Director of RoRI and Digital Science Professor of Research Policy at the University of Sheffield said:

“Worldwide, interest is intensifying in how research is funded, practised and evaluated, and in how research systems can be made more efficient, open, inclusive and impactful. Research on research isn’t new – there is a wealth of excellent work to build on – but it can be poorly joined-up and applied in policies and practices. Working with our consortium of partners, who together invest several billion pounds a year in research, RoRI has a unique opportunity to co-design new methods, and experiment with creative approaches to decision making, prioritisation and evaluation.”

Daniel Hook, Co-Chair of RoRI and CEO of Digital Science said:

“RoRI is a unique ‘experiment’ that brings together perspectives from all stakeholders in research to understand how research on research can be translated to improve all aspects of global research capabilities. It is a pleasure to participate in such an exciting initiative.”

Sarah de Rijcke, Co-Chair of RoRI, Professor in Science and Evaluation Studies and Director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University said:

“Science and innovation systems are changing rapidly to meet global challenges. These changes often go together with heated debates about the value and reliability of science and scholarship.”

RoRI also publishes its first of what will become a regular series of working papers, as well as a research funding landscape tool.

Read the full press release here