“New Partners, New Projects and a New Nonprofit: RoRI Embarks on Its Next Five Years of Research on Research”
Today marks the start of RoRI’s Phase 2. With our international consortium of partners, we’re excited to launch another five years of generating, synthesising and translating ideas and evidence into practical solutions to improve research.
Launched in 2019 by the universities of Sheffield and Leiden, Wellcome Trust, and Digital Science, the Research on Research Institute (RoRI) has grown into one of the world’s largest platforms for meta-research collaboration. Today marks the start of our second phase, which will run until 2027.
We’ve expanded our consortium to bring in new partners, and will be working with them to codesign and develop a fresh wave of projects. By turning the tools of research back on itself, RoRI generates data, evidence and analysis that can improve how we design, manage and support research.
Launching RoRI phase 2
RoRI’s second phase will see us undertake an expanded portfolio of projects, with more partners and research collaborators around the world. Our approach will continue to be characterised by:
- an independent, partnership-based, non-profit, mission-driven model; working at sufficient scale to engage with research in diverse countries and contexts
- drawing on a rich blend of disciplinary perspectives, concepts, tools and methods
- partnering in a genuinely collaborative, co-productive way
- ensuring a supportive environment for risk-taking and collaboration
- maintaining a commitment to open infrastructures, open data and open access.
We’re delighted to welcome an expanded group of Core Partners, who will collectively steer RoRI’s work over the next five years. Subject to final agreements (1), the following organisations have signalled their intention to become Core Partners in Phase 2:
Novo Nordisk Foundation; Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF); Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR); Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR – Luxembourg National Research Fund); Michael Smith Health Research BC; Digital Science; Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University; Volkswagen Foundation; and the University of Sheffield. Other Core Partners and project partners will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Our latest project findings and updates
To mark the start of RoRI’s second phase, we’re excited to share our latest project findings and updates including:
- The Experimental Research Funder’s Handbook (updated edition).
As the final output from our pilot phase RANDOMISATION project, we’ve updated and expanded our Experimental Research Funder’s Handbook, to make it more accessible and engaging as a resource for funders looking to move down this path.
Today we are also publishing a new working paper on Where next for partial randomisation of research funding? The feasibility of RCTs and alternatives. Co-authored by a team from the University of Sheffield and the Wellcome Trust, this outlines considerations for any study of partial randomisation of research funding, and considers scenarios in which randomised controlled trials (RCTs) would be relevant and feasible. It highlights the interdependence of target outcomes, sample availability and statistical power for determining the cost and feasibility of a trial, and more briefly reviews alternatives to RCTs.
- The new RoRI Funder Lab
As Phase 2 gets underway, RoRI and its partners are launching the RoRI Funder Lab, to support, scale and accelerate experiments with research funding and evaluation. Like our Funder Data Platform, which facilitates data-sharing and analysis, the Funder Lab will provide collaborative infrastructure and other resources to support and scale up experimentation by its partners. It will draw on a team of researchers, methodologists and evaluators, plus a wider network of research collaborators, to support funders with the design, implementation and evaluation of experiments with funding processes, and other quantitative and analytical studies.
RoRI’s Funder Data Platform, developed by Wellcome Trust, is a secure, closed environment for research funders to upload, share and collaboratively analyse funding data. It has already unlocked new insights into the research landscape and, with legal and project agreements already in place, we’re delighted to announce an expansion of the platform in Phase 2. This is being supported by a generous grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Today, we are releasing some initial findings from the CRITERIA study—the first project to use the platform—which is exploring how grant application criteria influence gender differences in research funding.
In early 2022, RoRI commissioned Carter Research Navigation to provide a rapid-yet-robust, independent review of RoRI’s pilot phase. The primary method was a series of targeted stakeholder interviews, with some examination of documentary materials. This review is published today. It concludes that RoRI has demonstrated strong overall performance, being well organised and producing some serious, well-designed studies; despite the pandemic restricting interactions. Interviewees were all positively engaged and constructive.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.