R&D PO LICY IMPACT ON RESEARCH EXCELLENCE
Facing the worldwide economic recession, the public research and development (R&D) policy undergo the increasing pressure to economize and improve research performance levels in this way complying with public accountability. Thus the design of R&D policy has to integrate an appropriate set of research performance criteria together with the balanced choice of relevant indicators for the allocation of scarce funds for the very purpose of pursuing scientiﬁc advancement in the frames of international rivalry.
During several last decades the discourse of the EU politicians expanded with the term of “research excellence”, which became conceptual background for further EU R&D policy development. Often excellence in research is used as synonym of “research quality”. Nevertheless, rivalry for the highest evaluation of research performance has not yet provided with a single and ﬁxed deﬁnition of “research excellence”.
This paper aims to outline the content of excellence in research and, investigating the existing Lithuanian experience to measure it, discuss the R&D policy intervention impacts on the process and the results of pursuing high level research.
The methods of research used are grounded on the investigation of Lithuanian legal acts, valid in the ﬁeld of R&D and conditioning the performance of public R&D institutions. Two levels of policy intervention: institution and individual are taken into consideration. Also, in the light of research excellence measurement R&D output assessment methodology used by the Government as a basic institutional funding instrument is analyzed.
The conclusions mark that due to the conditions of ambiguous deﬁnition of “research excellence” the need for the methods to recognize and identify excellence in research are vital. However, its pro-active state-level management practices should contain an umbrella of ﬂexible, well-balanced and situation receptive procedures. Therewith, the research excellence encouragement instruments within the framework of the state’s R&D policy should cover the individual and institutional level endorsed and promoted by sustainable and diversiﬁed measures.