Workshop "Risky research: normality or exception? Challenges for research and research funding"

Beginn: Uhr
Ende: Uhr
Xplanatorium Herrenhausen
Fachpublikum Wissenschaft

The accompanying research of the funding initiative "Experiment! In Search of Bold Research Ideas" is ending. At this final workshop, the results will be discussed and put into a broader perspective.

Illustration: Nicolás Aznárez für VolkswagenStiftung
Illustration: Nicolás Aznárez für VolkswagenStiftung

At this joint workshop of EVACONSULT, Berlin, and Volkswagen Foundation, the results of the accompanying research of the funding initiative "Experiment! - In Search of Bold Research Ideas" will be presented. "Experiment!" broke new ground in two respects: First, it was about supporting risky research projects that cannot rely on the "State of the Art" in the respective discipline. With regard to the research question, the theoretical approach and the methodological design are fraught with the risk that the planned results could not be achieved. This is actually a normal process in (basic) research, but difficult to realize with the previous and known instruments of research funding. Second, a partially randomized review process was applied, i.e., the peer review was supplemented by the lottery drum. 

The workshop's focus will lie on overarching issues of research funding from the perspectives of science and innovation research, science policy and research organizations. What general ideas of research to be funded guide the programs of funding organisations? Do they need new directions and more experiments? What can be learnt from international experience? Can partial randomization be a silver bullet to strengthen the positive elements of peer review, especially the quality assurance by experienced reviewers, but also to counteract the known problems such as discipline-oriented and risk-averse reviewing?


Please find the program under downloads.


This workshop aims at a scientific audience and representatives of research funders. It is limited to 80 participants. 


After eight calls between 2013 and 2021 and a funding volume of 21 million euros, the highly successful funding initiative "Experiment! - In Search of Bold Research Ideas" is closed now. This initiative has influenced several programs of international funders. Out of 5.051 submissions, 183 ideas had been granted. From 2017 onwards, the Foundation has tested a partially randomized selection process involving a jury for quality assurance and a decision by lot for selection of fundable projects in the greyzone and for balancing biases. An accompanying research project by EVACONSULT, Berlin, started in 2018 and will end in December 2022.