Was UNIK unique?
Was UNIK unique? Yes, and very much so. The scientific breakthroughs produced by the UNIKs would not have been possible without the unique features of the program, says new evaluation of the UNIK program conducted by IRIS-group. Special attention has been given to a greater understanding of the funding program in relation to other types of funding instruments in Denmark
Main conclusions are that UNIK as funding instrument:
- Was a highly successful instrument of research funding in terms of creating a basis for novel, ground-breaking, interdisciplinary research with a focus on grand societal challenges. Furthermore, the evaluation indicates that UNIK fostered scientific results that would not easily have emerged through other instruments of research funding.
- Strengthened academic leadership and administrative capacity to work with large, complex, interdisciplinary research programmes.
- Helped the universities to focus their research strategies.
- Provided a competitive, “high-risk-high-gain” arena in which the universities were compelled to focus strategically on their excellent, interdisciplinary research spearheads.
- Fostered a significant number of young researchers equipped with the skills and mindset to work in cross-disciplinary settings.
- Enhanced international exposure and international networks of the participating research environments vis-à-vis excellent peer environments abroad.
- Was instrumental in strengthening the institutional coherence and capacity of the host universities.
- The evaluation generally confirms the positive effects of UNIK found by the international expert panel.
Announcement from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science (in Danish only): https://ufm.dk/aktuelt/nyheder/2015/stor-succes-med-tvaerdisciplinaer-forskning-pa-danske-universiteter
Link to full report: https://ufm.dk/publikationer/2015/filer/unik-effektevaluering.pdf
About the UNIK programme
UNIK (Investment Capital for University Research) was an ambitious research excellence initiative launched in October 2009 by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation1 . The initiative funded four interdisciplinary research programmes at three Danish universities – the so-called “UNIKs”. It had the combined aim of promoting new challenge-driven, cross-disciplinary and excellent research, as well as enhancing the capacity of Danish universities to implement large-scale, cross-disciplinary research programmes.