The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council wants to know how its mainstream research funding method could be improved to help offer greater job security to more contract research staff.
Shefc is involving academics, industry and charities in a fundamental review of how it can best promote and support academic research over the next ten years. In a bid to open debate as wide as possible, it is sending out two consultation papers, one aimed at higher education, the other at research users or potential users, including businesses, charities and government.
Shefc believes devolution gives it the chance to develop policies that support distinctive Scottish priorities. Since it launched its original funding method in 1993, there has been a dramatic growth of interest in research applications and knowledge transfer. Shefc is already putting in place a strategy to promote the commercialisation of research, but wants to know whether it could boost this further through changes in its mainstream funding method.
It is also asking whether mainstream funding should promote better collaboration between researchers.
Shefc's initial consultation will help inform a United Kingdom review of the assessment of the quality of research.