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Research Policy in a Programme Organisation: Indicators and Accountability

Mark Brocken Head Financial Department Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) The Netherlands

Contents
• • • • • • Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter Programme Organisation Research Policy Indicators Accountability (challenges) Conclusions

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FOM: introduction
• FOM was established in 1946 • Mission:
► to perform and coordinate fundamental physics research ► to generate new knowledge ► to train PhD students and technicians

– for the benefit of Dutch society, and in particular higher education and industry

• FOM is combination of
– organisation of research institutes – research council

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FOM: research

Particle physics at CERN- (ATLAS, LHCb & ALICE) 4-

FOM: research

Reflective mirrors for EUV- 5 radiation (wafer steppers)

FOM: research Splitting up and separation of DNA in cells

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FOM: research

Graphene in high7 magnetic fields - -

• Budget
– M€ 90 revenues (84% from NWO) – M€ 77 research activities

FOM: characteristics 2006
• Organisation
– 4 institutes (531 FTE) – 173 research groups at universities (370 FTE) – central office (47 FTE)

• Output
– 100 PhD theses – 1158 scientific publications

• People (FTE)
– – – –
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95 scientific staff 119 postdocs 395 PhD students 339 support staff

FOM: organisational structure
Board of Governors EB

Works Council

Director

Central Office

SAF/NIKHEF

Rijnhuizen

AMOLF

KVI (with RuG)

University Groups UvA TUD TU/e WUR UT RuG VU LEI EUR UU RU

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FOM: relation with NWO • Agreement FOM-NWO (2003):
National Gouvernement NWO General Council NWO Council for Physics (GBN) FOM – FOM is approved by NWO – FOM gets funds from NWO for institutes and for research grants – FOM integrates both funds – members Executive Board FOM and members NWO Council for Physics are identical – FOM is accountable to NWO
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Programme organisation: history Three periods can be distinguished: 1. Institutional organisation: before 1998
– budgets assigned to organisational units

2. Programme organisation: 1998-2004
– budgets assigned to research programmes – organisational units financed by means of approved research programmes

3. Hybrid organisation: after 2004
– FOM institutes receive mission budgets to finance the infrastructure – research is financed by means of approved research programmes
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Institutional organisation (<1998) • Characteristics:
FOM-board
Research communities

Institutes

– budgets assigned to institutes and research communities – each research community divides budget between participating university research groups

University research groups

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Programme organisation (1998-2004) • Characteristics:
FOM-board Research programmes
University research groups

– budgets assigned to research programmes
► budget: M€ 0.5 – M€ 84 ► duration: 5-19 years

Institutes

– institutes and university groups financed by means of approved programmes – institutes receive small discretionary budgets – budgets programmes:
► institutes: integral costing ► university groups: marginal costing (universities have to provide infrastructure)
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Hybrid organisation (>2004) • Characteristics:
FOM-board Research programmes
University research groups

Institutes

– institutes receive mission budgets for infrastructure – research at institutes and university groups financed by means of approved programmes – budgets of programmes at institutes and at universities based upon marginal costs – programmes are shorter (average 6 years) and smaller (average M€ 3) than in the programme organisation
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Programme organisation: comparison
Criterion
Continuity Competition between institutes and university groups Budget programmes at institutes and universities comparable Openness to new research groups Flexibility with respect to budget cuts Evaluation burden researchers Workload for central office

Institutional organisation

Programme organisation

Hybrid organisation

++ n/a + +
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+ + --

+ (institutes) - (univ. groups) + + + --

Research policy: strategic plans • Strategic plans:
– – – – – 1991: FOM towards 2000 1995: Physics for the future = a future for physics 1998: Over the threshold 2000: Research policy FOM 2001→2006 2004: Strategic plan FOM/GBN 2004 → 2010

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Research policy: implementation • Implementation Strategic Plan:
– Institutional organisation: organizational measures – Programme organisation: new research programmes – Hybrid organisation: organizational measures and new research programmes

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Indicators: standard • Indicators for NWO:
– Input:
► number of scientific personnel (permanent and temporary) ► total expenses for each organisational unit

– Output:
► PhD theses ► publications

• Indicators in Yearbook FOM

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Indicators: promo meter

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Indicators: wall of fame

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Indicators: programme shares physics subfields
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% subatomic physics condensed matter physics physics of processes in living systems atomic, molecular and optical physics phenomenological physics nuclear fusion physics various topics in physics 2000 2006

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Indicators: cash position
70,0 60,0 Liquidity Balance (M€) 50,0 40,0 30,0 20,0 10,0 0,0
31 -1 219 31 90 -1 219 31 91 -1 219 31 92 -1 219 31 93 -1 219 31 94 -1 219 31 95 -1 219 31 96 -1 219 31 97 -1 219 31 98 -1 219 31 99 -1 220 31 00 -1 220 31 01 -1 220 31 02 -1 220 31 03 -1 220 31 04 -1 220 31 05 -1 220 06

• Transformation to programme organisation leads to increase of liquidity balance:
– it takes time to start up research programmes – insecurity leads to ‘saving behaviour’

• 2000: special action to reduce liquidity position
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Indicators: free reserve
30,0 25,0 20,0 15,0 10,0 5,0 0,0 -5,0 -10,0 -15,0 Free Reserve Cumulative costs action reduction liquidity

M€

00

01

02

05

03

99

2-

2-

04

2-

2-

2-

2-

2-

31 -1

31 -1

31 -1

31 -1

31 -1

• Strict policy to add all unexpected profits to the free reserve is successful
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31 -1

31 -1

31 -1

2-

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Accountability • FOM follows the Dutch guidelines for non-profit organisations • Executive Board: no need for further improvement • Director: worried about work load board members • Personal issues:
– to create a financial committee – to improve the financial evaluation of research proposals – to relate costs to the progress of a research programme

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Conclusions • The hybrid organisation is the most appropriate for FOM • The liquidity balance and the free reserve are currently the main indicators for FOM • Personal accountability challenge: to increase the involvement of the FOM-board in financial issues

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Extra’s: institutional → programme organisation
• From institutional to programme organisation (1997-1998):
– ongoing research at institutes and in research communities is converted into research programmes – central budget for new research programmes is created at the expense of the budgets of the institutes and research communities – institutes and research communities receive small discretionary budgets – integral costing is introduced at the institutes

• 2000: introduction accounting by programme (over 1999) • 2001: research communities converted into advisory committees to the Executive Board and their discretionary budgets abolished

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Extra’s: programme → hybrid organisation • From programme to hybrid organisation (2004-2005):
– budgets of research programmes at the institutes are adjusted from integral costing to marginal costing – basic budgets of the institutes are determined based upon current infrastructural costs of the institutes (permanent personnel, workshops, housing)

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Extra’s: evaluation programme proposal
Researchers submit idea to Executive Board EB seeks advice of committee(s) for relevant sub-field(s) YES, promising idea and budget available FOM-programme in development (Orange status) Researchers write and submit a detailed programme proposal International scientific evaluation YES, evaluation resulted in a positive advice FOM-programme approved (Green status) Budget and duration assigned Start programme NO, evaluation resulted in a negative advice Programme proposal rejected NO, not a promising idea or no budget available Programme idea rejected

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Extra’s: evaluation criteria programme proposal
• Scientific criteria:
– – – – – – – – – scientific quality proposed research quality research group(s) involved research method availability required infrastructure adequacy requested budget adequacy scale (critical mass) focus and cohesion added value programmatic cooperation programme management

• Programmatic criteria (new in 2007):

• Politico-scientific criteria:
– contribution to policy objectives – architecture research landscape
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Extra’s: budgets hybrid organisation (2007)
Board of Governors EB

Works council

Director

Central office

Basic budgets institutes (M€ 24)

Free programmes (M€ 23)

Industrial partnership programmes (M€ 7)

Project fund (M€ 8)

Other activities (M€ 18)

Research projects

Research projects

Research projects

Research projects

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