Was UNIK Unique? Evaluation of effects from the Danish research excellence initiative UNIK


IRIS Group has conducted an evaluation of the research initiative UNIK (University Investment Capital), which aims to promote world-class research at the Danish universities, including strengthening the autonomy, management power and ability of universities to conduct interdisciplinary research.

The evaluation shows that UNIK has contributed to

  • establish a solid foundation for innovative and interdisciplinary research.
  • focus the university’s research strategies and strengthen the university’s leadership and management of large and interdisciplinary research projects.
  • strengthen university networks to strong international research communities.

At the same time, the evaluation shows that UNIK as a financial instrument has created clear added value for the participating universities and that it would have been difficult to achieve the same effects through traditional research funding.

However, the evaluation also points to certain key challenges in launching similar initiatives in the future. For example, there is a need to further strengthen the focus on promoting interdisciplinary research areas, and it is necessary to have a longer time horizon for research programs than just five years.

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