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Competitive edge

With research funding becoming more competitive, African institutions and funders need to consider how they can nurture quality, writes Jay Kubler.

During the 1980s and 1990s a significant number of OECD countries experienced a two- or three-fold increase in the proportion of research funding allocated competitively. This trend is now spreading to emerging economies with funding agencies looking to either expand or create systems for the competitive allocation of research funds.

While precise figures are not available for most African countries, there is growing evidence to suggest that there is a concerted move in this direction. This movement is driven as much by influential donor bodies, such as the World Bank, the Wellcome Trust and the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, as it is by government policy.

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