A Framework to prioritize basic researches for governmental support

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. in S&T Policy, Tarbiat Modares University,Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Information Technology Management,Tarbiat Modares University,Tehran, Iran


The increasing growth of the scope and depth of scientific activities on the one hand and resource constraints on the other have made priority-setting an essential requirement in science, technology and innovation policy. In this context, decisions regarding basic research would be more complicated because of their specific characteristics including high uncertainty and unpredictability of the resulting benefits, and -as a consequence- the impossibility of cost-benefit analysis as the primary logic of priority-setting. This paper assumes that a national institution in Iran with a defined budget to support basic research in natural sciences must select a number of research proposals to support. The research question is how to do this. In order to answer this question and based on design science research methodology, via a systematic review of the knowledge base, the conceptual model of prioritizing basic research was formulated based on the framework for solving the problem of "R&D project portfolio selection" and "challenges of basic research priority-setting". Then, via answering these challenges, a process model was prescribed to answer the research question. In this model, after evaluating each proposal, the best set is selected by means of zero-one mathematical programming with the aim of maximizing the attractiveness of the set observing budget constraints, discipline and geographical distribution, type of research and justice. Validation of the proposed model was done through computer simulation of the mathematical model, as well as qualitative survey over  experts' opinions to validate the general logic of the model.


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