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Published

28 June 2013

Continued funding for world-class interdisciplinary research

The Stockholm Resilience Centre is to continue receiving funds until 2018. Its interdisciplinary research is world-leading, but in the long term the Centre’s funding needs reviewing to allow further development of the research. These were the key conclusions when the SRC was evaluated recently.

‘It’s extremely gratifying. The evaluation emphasises the facts that we’ve fulfilled and exceeded expectations, that we’re a world-leading centre in this field and that we’ve succeeded in achieving this in a short time,’ says Line Gordon, one of the research leaders at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC).

The mid-term evaluation took up time and effort on the part of researchers and other staff at the Centre. But it also had highly positive effects.

‘Having to stop and ask “Where are we going?” is constructive. It creates a sense of direction for the future. As a researcher you often get the feeling of being part of a good organisation. But it’s been hard to find time for the actual research during the evaluation period,’ Gordon comments.

Her own research is on water-resource issues, farming and ecosystem services.

Creative environment with coherent research
SRC’s strengths are the existence of a clear framework that unites the research, while its parameters allow for creative departures by the individual researchers.

‘They’re all curious about different things. Some kind of direction is necessary, but so is scope for absorbing new approaches. We’re an interdisciplinary centre with space for widely varying work. The evaluation shows this and we’ve made a tremendous effort to bring in all the different perspectives,’ Gordon says.

One key aspect of the Centre’s future funding has now been resolved with the decision by Mistra’s Board in June to continue funding SRC with up to SEK 93 million over a five-year period. However, this sum corresponds to only a small share of the Centre’s total budget.

‘Today, the basic funding from Mistra and Stockholm University makes up roughly 25% and the reviewers think that, to be sustainable in the long term, this will have to be raised to 50%,’ Gordon concludes.

Text: Thomas Heldmark, Vetenskapsjournalisterna

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