My thesis on Irish Research Funding Policy, accepted last summer for a doctorate in the University of Sheffield, School of Education, has been published on the University of Sheffield e-thesis website. This site is shared by the Universities of York and Leeds, and so is called White Rose eTheses Online. It has also been published on the Waterford Institute of Technology repository (i.e. where I currently work).
Ó Foghlú, Mícheál (2010) Science, Engineering and Technology Research Funding Policy in Ireland 1995-2008: A Policy Document Analysis, EdD Thesis, University of Sheffield, School of Education. (University of Sheffield PDF, WIT PDF).
In the period 1995 to 2008 there has been an increased level of government funding
for research and development in higher education institutions in Ireland.
This thesis analyses the evolving theoretical literature on the production of
knowledge, and traces how models of research and innovation have evolved in the
contemporary period. Four models are discussed: (i) linear model, (ii) national
systems of innovation, (iii) mode-2 science, and (iv) triple helix.
The thesis presents a detailed analysis of a series of public documents produced
in Ireland in the period, and discusses how each one relates to the theoretical
background. Some of these relationships are explicit, where documents cite key
authors and the models as discussed in the theoretical literature. Some of the
relationships are implicit, where the manner in which the process of research and
development is described implies that certain models are being assumed.
The thesis subsequently discusses the results of this analysis, where it seems
that the Irish policy literature is moving away from an engagement with at least
some of these theoretical models, towards a very operationalised implementation
strategy. This is epitomised by the development of the Strategy for Science
Technology and Innovation.
The thesis finally makes a number of recommendations for policy makers,
advising the more detailed study and analysis of Ireland's own national system
of innovation, and the prioritisation of the use of research funding to build up
capabilities in identified areas of this system that are weak.
I gave a talk today at the WIT Research Day (13th April 2011) on Irish Research Funding Policy, focused on its reference to non-linear theories of Knowledge Production. Draws on my doctoral research that did an analysis of public research policy documents in Ireland 2005-2008. Ireland in this period made the case for huge increases in HERD (funding for R&D in Higher Education), and implemented this from 1998 onwards primarily via the HEA PRTLI and SFI. My case is that this was done without a proper analysis of what impact on the knowledge economy was planned for, or how it could be measured. Now with less money available, we need to revisit the process, make critical decisions, and create clarity for ongoing funding.
The slides area available on SlideShare.