Taking into account the need for international collaboration in science to address complex and inter-related societal, environmental and economic challenges, the overall objective of the Global Science Forum (GSF) is to support countries to improve their science policies and share in the benefits of international collaboration. GSF provides a venue for consultations and mutual learning among senior science policy officials of OECD member countries. It carries out analytical work on high-priority science policy issues.
Specifically, the GSF serves its members in the formulation and implementation of their science policies by:
The GSF's principal customers are the government science policy officials who bring issues to the GSF for deliberation and analysis in an intergovernmental setting. Before any activity is undertaken, it is assessed in terms of quality, potential impact and relevance to the agreed strategic themes. All projects must have the support of several GSF members.
The GSF programme of work for 2019-2020 builds on what has been achieved over previous years. Shared research infrastructures are now playing an important role in all fields of science and, given the scale of investment, optimising the use of these facilities is a priority in many countries. If open science is to realise its promise then it will is critical that scientists have the necessary skills to manage and analyse data. Research is increasingly being expected to both provide solutions to complex societal challenges and new breakthroughs to underpin future technological innovation. At the same time there is concern about the attractiveness and sustainability of academic research careers.
Most research infrastructures (RIs) are funded, managed and operated at a national level, and provide services mostly to national research communities. However, national research budgets are limited, and governments and funding agencies have to support increasingly large and complex RI portfolios. The objective of this activity is to identify policies and procedures that can increase utilisation and improve the operation of national RIs. It will cover the use of national RIs by broader user communities, tools and options for long-term planning, and life-cycle management.
There is growing concern that public research is too conservative, short-term and risk-averse. Whilst funding, and how it is allocated, is a major driver for research, issues such as academic structures, research evaluation and strategic prioritisation processes also have an impact on what research is, and is not, conducted. This GSF project is focusing on funding and policy actions aimed at fostering transformative/high-risk research.
This project is focusing on the skills required for scientists in the age of digitalisation, and the reward and incentive systems and career paths for data scientists and professionals. It aims to produce an analytical framework for use by policy-makers to assess needs and gaps. It will also highlight good practice examples that can be adapted to different contexts.
Transdisciplinary research, integrating natural and social sciences with input from non-academic societal stakeholders, is increasingly seen as being important for developing solutions to complex societal challenges. However this does not always fit neatly with traditional academic research structures; there are challenges around funding mechanisms, evaluation systems, career paths, education and training, and data integration for transdisciplinary research. This project aims to carry out a systematic analysis of the theory, methods and practices for transdisciplinary research at the project and/or institutional level across different communities and countries. It will promotes mutual learning between countries, through sharing of good practices in transdisciplinary research.
In many countries, the working conditions of researchers are not considered sufficiently attractive to retain the best national talent and attract good foreign researchers. The objective of this GSF project is to identify policies and procedures that could promote better strategic planning and management of research careers in the public sector, promoting inclusion and diversity, while increasing the quality of the science that is produced.