The “French Research Performance in context” report by SIRIS for CURIF (November 2019)

The Udice group shared a study carried out by the British firm BiGGAR showing the high level of the economic contribution of French research universities to the national economy. In November 2019, the French Research Performance in Context report for CURIF noted several worrying findings regarding the decline in the international competitiveness of the French research system.

Here are the conclusions of the study that we put here:

 “The majority of macro indicators, such as the French share of publications or citations worldwide, are down, even though other countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland have managed to increase their performance over the same period.

French performance is particularly poor in the cutting-edge disciplinary fields, and in the indicators of research excellence (top 1% of the most cited publications, ERC, etc.).

At the European level, France has lost well over a billion euros on Horizon 2020 and captures less money per capita than the majority of countries.

In comparative terms, several European countries (Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark) are more competitive than the Anglo-Saxon countries. »

Faced with these findings, the report examines five possible causes:

“A lack of research funding combined with inefficient resource allocation;

An internationalization policy that targets countries, while it should rather allow certain institutions to articulate with major global hubs;

A distribution of roles between universities, schools and ONR which does not allow the implementation of an effective research strategy;

A human resources model whose strengths (relatively early career security, broad research autonomy) are hampered by constraints that weigh on careers and recruitment;

A governance of universities that remains more accountable than it has effective decision-making autonomy. »


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