Every month a Twitter chat under the hashtag #onsci brings scientists, science communicators and other interested parties together to discuss relevant professional issues. The March #onsci asked how might research be better managed and funded (in Australia) given our constraints and frustrations with the system, and what is required for sustainable research careers. This is an edited version of the chat transcript directed to the relevant questions being posed by the McKeon Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research.
Thinking about tonight’s #onsci. A topic on enabling research might seem specialised, but has implications for #scicom #scied and industry.
How might health and medical research be best managed and funded in Australia? (Terms of Reference 2, 3 and 7)
The #onsci chat looked at alternatives for funding and managing research in Australia. Suggestions raised included crowd-sourced funding and associated issues such as scalability and public decision-making, involving end-users and industry and investing through funds including superannuation. Perhaps ultimately there needs to be a mechanism for collating different funding opportunities?
Let’s build on that. Q2: Are there alternatives emerging for how science & research might be funded and what are they? #onsci
What are the health and medical research strategic directions and priorities and how might we meet them? (Terms of Reference 5, 12 and 13)
While this #onsci chat didn’t determine specific health and medical research strategic directions, there were suggestions on how these research priorities might be guided. The key points included the need to ascertain the priorities of Australians in terms of their health from key trends, to look at the challenges for Australia and within a global context, and to think about who is best positioned to make choices – the public, government or researchers? The need for a balance between applied and fundamental research was also raised.
Let’s start w/ Q1: Research Priorities. How might we better make decisions about what research is important & what should be funded? #onsci
This short summary of the March #onsci presents a range of views on research priorities, managing and funding research and how best to achieve translation. It reflects a range of views from the science and science communications communities rather than definitive recommendations. However, we trust that it adds a useful perspective to the McKeon Strategic Review on Health and Medical Research.