No strings attached? Potential effects of external funding on freedom or research

Universities are increasingly pushed to apply for external funding for their research and incentivised for making an impact in the society surrounding them. The consequences of these third-mission activities for the degree of freedom of the research, the potential to make a substantial research contribution and the ethical challenges of this increased dependency on external funding are often neglected. The implications of external sponsorship of research depend on the level of influence of the sponsor in the various elements of the research.

A new paper recently published by Prof. René Chester Goduscheit of Aarhus University in the Journal of Business Ethics provides a typology of sponsored innovation management research projects. It identifies three different methodological dimensions that can impact the likelihood of generating publishable results from the innovation management research. The three dimensions are purpose (e.g. formulating the topic of the research and the research question to pursue), throughput (the possibility of the researcher to decide on the way that the research question should be answered) and output (the expectations of the funding body on the results that should be generated from the innovation management research). The paper discusses the positive and negative impact of these types of projects and generates implications for the central stakeholders.

These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:

Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025