May 10, 2013


Funding Agencies Foster Multilateral Research Globally | Original Article | by Geoff Maslen

The world’s first global research council was formed by the heads of 47 research funding agencies from 44 countries and officially launched in May last year during a multinational summit promoted and hosted by the US National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia.

The council’s two-day summit on merit review was attended by research funding agency chief executives, primarily from countries in the G20 and OECD. There they agreed to join the council, which is governed by an 11-member board and chaired by National Science Foundation Director Dr Subra Suresh.

In releasing a “statement of principles for scientific merit review”, the council said it was designed to provide a framework for increased international research cooperation, and to convey accepted international standards for science-funding agencies.

The statement covers expert assessment, transparency, impartiality, appropriateness, confidentiality, and integrity and ethical considerations, and was developed by an international steering committee composed of representatives from Africa, the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East-North Africa.

“The merit review process, as practised by leading funding agencies worldwide, is seen as an essential tool for evaluating scientific research. The set of common principles identify best practices and standards that are intended to cultivate multinational research cooperation among countries and across continents,” the council says.

For countries developing new funding agencies, the principles provide a global consensus on the key elements necessary for a rigorous and transparent review system.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Arlington meeting, Suresh said: “This global summit is the first step towards a more unified approach to the scientific process. Science can rise above economic and cultural differences to help develop trust and clear the path for agreements in other areas. Read More...


Image Courtsey of Danilo Rizzuti /

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