Differences in Basic Research Grant Funding

A Comparison of Nine Research Funding Organisations

Using a systematic comparative approach, this report compares nine research funding organisations involved in basic research grant funding in seven countries: Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft – DFG (Germany), National Institutes of Health – NIH and National Science Foundation – NSF (USA), National Research Foundation – NRF (Singapore), Dutch Research Council – NWO (Netherlands), Research Council of Norway – RCN, Swiss National Science Foundation – SNSF (Switzerland), UK Research and Innovation – UKRI and Wellcome Trust (UK). Besides overall spending levels, there are considerable differences in the mission and activity focus, reflected in the funding portfolio, for example as regards the share of standard, investigator-initiated bottom-up project funding and the share of thematically oriented, or challenge-driven, funding schemes in overall funding. A more detailed comparison of the main single project funding scheme similarly reveals differences in success rates, lot sizes and project duration, as well as in the types of cost reimbursed and in the peer review procedures.