Chapter 9 Potentials and limitations of program-based research funding for the transformation of research systems
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This chapter analyzes the opportunities and limitations of program funding for the transformation of science systems. For this purpose, we review the existing literature on transformative research and corresponding research funding approaches, using sustainability research as an example. We use the German funding framework to promote sustainability research as empirical illustration for the role of research funding for changing research processes. We conclude that transformation cannot be expected from individual project-based programs, but an adaptation of the science system on all levels is needed. This involves a shift in mindset and also in the practices of individual researchers; the commitment of the research performing organizations, including an altered orientation towards the impact of science; the need to overcome the still existing disincentives to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work; and finally a new “Leitbild” for excellent research, which accounts for the need to direct research towards global challenges without compromising academic rigor.

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