FAQ Research Funding Consultation

We have chosen the available budgets based on an estimate of the annual subsidies allocated to research from three main funding sources:

1- First funding stream via universities,

2- NWO budget for grant competitions,

3- matching in public-private partnerships.

These sources are allocated differently under various constraints. This makes it difficult to present just a single number as the total budget. We mitigate the influence of this uncertainty by presenting different values from a bandwidth to different, randomly selected, groups of participants. In this way, we can also determine the extent to which preferences are affected by the budget variations.

As researchers our focus is on collecting evidence to present to policymakers, funding bodies for research and university boards. We will write a report that captures both the quantitative data on funding allocation, with all its nuances, as well as the values, motivations and concerns that participants have expressed. The results of the study form a piece of the puzzle that the government and policymakers must put together. By presenting results gathered through a large-scale study, we hope our recommendations will weigh heavily.

PVE is an innovative consultation method that goes way beyond an opinion poll or a referendum. In a referendum, complex issues are flattened into a 'Yes/No choice'. In a PVE, participants can express their preferences based on an overall picture of policy options and effects. Participants are given the opportunity to assess policy options in context, they can motivate and nuance their preferences and put forward their own ideas. Because academics in the PVE are, as it were, in the shoes of the politician, they gain a greater understanding of the (complexity of) choices and constraints that a policymaker faces.

We will gain and present an in-depth insight into academic preferences regarding research funding. Based on a large and diverse participation, we can bring evidence for:

  • Which policy options are preferred by each group of academics? 
  • How priorities for money allocation differ between disciplines and subgroups?
  • Which concerns and values are considered for suggesting a certain prioritization?

No! It is an initiative of the Dutch Young Academy, but the whole point of the consultation is to gather the views of all Dutch academics, junior and senior, from all disciplines, in all career stages.

Researchers from various academic disciplines and career levels have different preferences for access to research funding. We are however all bound by constraints of the regulations and availability of funding resources. For policymakers, it is important to understand the nuances and preferences of the academic community in detail in order to optimally distribute the limited funding. By participating in this consultation, you can make your voice heard, and present a collective and nuanced signal to our policy-makers. With changes happening anyway, let’s together make sure our views are taken seriously!

Uncertainties regarding the exact level of the values, such as available budget or success rates, are handled through presenting different values from a bandwidth to participants. In this way, we can also determine the extent to which preferences are affected by the changes in values. Our goal is to get an overview of the priorities of participants and their communities, not to make a live dashboard for grant allocation.

Necessarily, models offer simplifications of the world. Not all the information and background of the current funding instruments can be put into a mechanistic model. We have therefore chosen to present symbolic choices that represent the essential elements of funding instruments and their main impacts on the overall productivity of the system.

We have chosen participatory value evaluation, because it has been developed by fellow researchers, and has already proven to be successful in engaging broad participation on ‘difficult’ policy use cases that publicly tend to get polarized responses, such as future energy policies and (the lifting of) coronavirus measures.

This Research Funding Consultation is more than just an opinion poll. We employ the method of participatory value evaluation, in which participants are faced with the dilemmas and limitations that policy-makers face, and have to propose solutions within the provided constraints. By inviting participants to suggest and to justify a potential set of policies, the consultation emphasizes forward-thinking over criticizing the status quo and its shortcomings.

In this first run of the Research Funding Consultation we focus on science funding allocation as this is a topic all academics in The Netherlands are confronted with. In current debates on Recognition & Rewards in academia, we also see that this is an important ‘undercurrent’: who gets to have a grant? How does this impact the types of activities this person and surrounding colleagues get to do, as well as the person’s future career development opportunities?

We notice how public opinion in academia is currently dominated by these discussions, but we are not sure whether a loud minority or the broad community is engaging here. Furthermore, while recognizing we are in a situation with limited resources, we would like to not necessarily be restricted to the world as it is now, and hear how the broad community would ideally prioritize matters of research funding. The insights from this project will provide useful input for our policy-makers, who are actively looking into these topics at this moment.

More generally, we are looking into a way that can engage our broad community. To us, this would be the largest impact: to create a tool that allows a scalable and representative consultation on a wide variety of issues, that cannot only be run by us, but also e.g. by local communities and universities.

As young academics we notice that science policy decisions, such as science funding allocation have a major impact on us all. However, it is not always clear who makes these decisions, and whether they have really been made after broad consultation of the academic community. With the Research Funding Consultation project we aim to give everyone a voice in difficult decision-making topics. At the same time we offer greater clarity to priorities that are differently set for different communities and disciplines, and hence need to be weighed accordingly before reaching a decision.


De Jonge Akademie
Postbus 19121
1000 GC Amsterdam
Telefoon: 020 551 0867

Ga naar contact


De Jonge Akademie is een dynamisch en innovatief platform van onderzoekers uit verschillende disciplines met visie op wetenschap en wetenschapsbeleid.

Meer over De Jonge Akademie  > 


Cookie-instellingen sluiten


Deze website maakt gebruik van cookies. Lees meer over cookies in onze cookieverklaring.

Deze cookies verzamelen nooit persoonsgegevens en zijn noodzakelijk voor het functioneren van de website.

Deze cookies verzamelen gegevens zodat we inzicht krijgen in het gebruik en deze website verder kunnen verbeteren.

Deze cookies zijn van aanbieders van externe content op deze website. Denk aan film, marketing- en/of tracking cookies.