Reframing study of research(er) funding towards configurations and trails

Duncan Andrew Thomas, Irene Ramos-Vielba

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Research funding has become complicated in many fields across contemporary science. Changing funding policies, programme and instruments also affect the funding situations of individual researchers, meaning they may now have to engage with more varied funders, funding aims and forms. This situation is underexplored, prompting us to propose two new study frames to address it: researcher funding configurations, and researcher funding trails. A configuration frames all a researcher’s concurrent funding instrument grants within a specified time window. A funding trail maps a researcher’s configurations over their scientific lifetime. These frames can help us study more accurately how funding connects to research(er) direction changes. We argue that without this reframing, we limit our analytical abilities to explore the effectiveness of contemporary research funding policies, programmes, and practices. In our chapter, we define configurations and trails, discuss what they afford analytically, and conclude with some further study considerations and policy implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Public Funding of Research
EditorsBenedetto Lepori, Ben Jongbloed, Diana Hicks
Place of PublicationCheltenham, U. K.
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781800883086
ISBN (Print)9781800883079
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2023


  • research funding
  • researcher funding configurations
  • researcher funding trails
  • funding co-use
  • shaping of research


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