Funders in Europe and incentivizing Open Science

Panel discussion




funder, Open Science, policy


Watch the VIDEO.

Funders across Europe are using scholarly communications to increase the impact of their grant results, thereby incentivizing researchers to share their research more openly.

This panel session will start by describing the results of a research study called the RIF Project that gleans insights into the policy, rewards and incentives being employed by European research funders to encourage open access to publications and research data for the research they fund. The panel will then respond to the findings and will present and share experience on their policies.

Funders across Europe are using scholarly communications to increase the impact of their grant results. More than 60 funders responded to a survey that was conducted in early Spring 2019 coming from key international funding bodies, national funding agencies, major charities and foundations, and national academies; from over 25 countries. The study was led by SPARC Europe in consultation with Science Europe, ALLEA and the EFC. Research Consulting conducted the research. The survey is the first of its kind, since it includes national funding agencies, academies, foundations and charities in Europe.

What kinds of policy choices have funders made to influence how grantees increase open access to their research results with as few restrictions as possible? How can funders contribute to changing the research evaluation system by exploring ways to evaluate the intrinsic value of research beyond the impact factor for example, by promoting, and considering a wider range of types of research when evaluating grants? How are funders contributing to the investment in open, be it through financing OA journal articles and other material, and supporting infrastructure? The session will provide answers to these questions and will also raise awareness of the areas where funders can do more to strengthen their Open Science policies.

Vanessa Proudman (SPARC Europe) will report on the results of the above-mentioned research study. Jon Øygarden Flæten (The Research Council of Norway), Kostas Glinos (The European Commission) and Robert Terry (World Health Organization and the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases) will present the views of their funder organizations. Kenneth Ruud (UiT The Arctic University of Norway) will speak on behalf of a research institution. Panel chair: Niamh Brennan (Trinity College Dublin).

Author Biographies

Niamh Brennan, Research Informatics, The Library, Trinity College Dublin

Programme Manager for Research Informatics in Trinity College Library Dublin, responsible for the development of Trinity's Research Support System and its institutional repository, TARA (Trinity's Access to Research Archive). Chair of Ireland's National Open Research Forum Publications Group; partner in OpenAIRE Advance; independent chair of the TU Dublin Open Research Advisory Group; member of the management councils of two key Irish journals in economics and social sciences; member of the European Commission Expert Group on Skills for Open Science, reporting to the European Open Science Policy Platform (expert group report published: September 2017).

Vanessa Proudman, SPARC Europe

Vanessa Proudman is Director of SPARC Europe; she is working to make Open the default in Europe. Vanessa has 20 years’ international experience working with many leading university libraries worldwide, with research institutions, international policy makers, together with information and IT professionals and designers from over 15 countries. She also headed information and IT at a UN-affiliated international research institution in Vienna for 10 years. She has also been programme and project manager to Europeana. She is also the owner of Proud2Know, a consultancy that supports the development of Europe’s academic libraries

Jon Øygarden Flæten, The Research Council of Norway

Jon Øygarden Flæten is currently employed as an adviser in the Science Division at the Research Council of Norway (RCN). Flæten is responsible for the RCN’s new support scheme for Open Access APCs (STIM-OA), and he also works with funding for basic research in the humanities and social sciences. Flæten has background as a medievalist and Church historian and has a PhD from the University of Oslo (2013).

Kostas Glinos, The European Commission

Kostas works at the European Commission, where he leads the unit in charge of Open Science in the directorate general for Research & Innovation since 1 June 2019. From 2014 to 2019 he led the unit responsible for EU international cooperation policy in STI and for relations with European Economic Area countries, witzerland, Russia,Western Balkans, Turkey, all of Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Kostas has been developing EU policy and managing R&D programmes in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Brussels since 1992. Policy areas he has dealt with include open science and innovation, collaboration in research, industry-academia interaction, the governance of research commons, public-private partnerships, science diplomacy and international cooperation policy at bilateral and bi-regional level. At various points in time he has been responsible for funding programmes in future and emerging technologies, cyber-physical systems, ICT research infrastructure and big research data. In the academic year 2017-2018 Kostas was a visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore where he taught regionalism in Europe and in Southeast Asia. Before joining the Commission Kostas worked in the chemical industry in the USA and Belgium, lectured at the University and carried out research in Greece. He holds a PhD in engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an Advanced Professional Certificate in investment management from Drexel University in the USA.

Robert Terry, World Health Organization

Robert Terry is a senior strategic and project manager with more than 20 years experience in strategy development and implementation. He has specialized knowledge in natural resources, development, health and research policy in low and high income countries for governmental, non-governmental, philanthropic and UN organizations.

Robert joined the World Health Organization in 2007 and led on the development and implementation of the Organization’s strategy on Research for Health. He is one of the lead authors of the 2013 WHO World Health Report– Research for Universal Health Coverage and developed the concept which led to the creation of the WHO Global Health R&D Observatory. Currently he works for the World Health Organization’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) where he is responsible for knowledge management, open access, data sharing and ensuring evidence is translated into policy and practice.

His early career in research and development was in agriculture and he went on to positions at the Royal Society where he ran the international research exchange programme and the Wellcome Trust where he was senior policy advisor. He led the development of Wellcome’s first open access policy and the subsequent establishment of Europe PubMed Central.

He has lived and worked in the Middle East and undertaken development consultancies in a number of African and Asian countries for Oxfam, UNAIS and DFID. He has a BSc in Botany from the University of Sheffield and an MPhil. in Plant Breeding (crop genetics) from the University of Cambridge.

Kenneth Ruud, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Prorector of research and professor of theoretical chemistry at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway (Norway). Kenneth received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Oslo in 1998 (supervisor Trygve Helgaker) and spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in San Diego with Peter Taylor before moving to Tromsø in 2001. His main research interests are development of new ab initio methods for the study of molecular properties for non-relativistic and relativistic methods. Additional interests include solvent effects (continuum and QM/MM methods) and vibronic and relativistic effects. He is an author of several quantum chemistry program: Dalton, Dirac, ReSpect, and OpenRSP.


Fosci, Mattia, Richens, Emma, & Johnson, Rob. (2019, September 30). Insights into European research funder policies and practices. Zenodo.