Web-based visualisation tool enables academic institutions to explore, analyse and understand international research funding.


Digital Science, a technology company serving the needs of scientific research and Symplectic, a leading developer of research information management systems, today announced the launch of Symplectic Dimensions at THE World Academic Summit in Singapore. Dimensions is a new web-based visualisation tool that enables academic research institutions to explore, analyse and understand the research funding landscape.

Symplectic is a portfolio business of Digital Science. Dimensions has been developed as a joint collaboration between the two companies to make the landscape of research funding accessible and transparent.

Academics and universities need to collaborate internationally to attract funding and the ability to understand an institution’s strengths and discover potential collaborators has become of paramount strategic importance. Dimensions tackles this need directly by providing innovative, easy-to-understand visualisations of current funding trends and collaborations in an easily-digestible format. This allows universities to make data-driven decisions to uncover institutional strengths, contextualise particular grants, determine strategic direction, gain information for succession planning or even identify rising stars within an academic institution’s research staff.

Dimensions incorporates data from the major government funders in the UK, Australia and the US (1). Advanced mapping allows institutions to view the global funding landscape and identify trends and patterns in the data to navigate funding in an intuitive way. This helps maximise the chance of a successful grant application by allowing universities to determine the best partners for their research.

Daniel Hook, Director of Research Metrics at Digital Science explained, “Understanding funding allocations across subjects, institutions or countries can be complex and time-consuming. Dimensions gathers together a well-integrated collection of international grants data in one place, whilst web-based visualisation provides a compelling way to compare institutions and uncover collaboration opportunities.”

To find out more visit: www.symplectic.co.uk/dimensions.

(1) Funding data is currently available from the ARC and NHMRC in Australia, the NIH in the US and the RCUK councils in the UK, with plans to add European, government in US and charity in UK funding.

International insights:
Powerful filters in Dimensions allow the user to sort data by research topic, institution, funder or investigator. Users can change the time period over which data is displayed and see the results geographically and create PDF reports. Some examples include:

• On average the UK Research Councils award larger grants than the Australian Councils but fewer of them, giving approximately the same funding envelope to the highest award-winning institutions.
• UK funding bodies awarded grants to 291 research organisations between Oct 2003 and Oct 2013 including research institutions and partners in Africa, Manila and New Zealand.
• The Australian Research Councils funded 26 organisations to study Nanotechnology totalling £207M ($349AUD).