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New paper shows support for lottery funding allocation

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The Health Research Council of New Zealand is the first major government funding agency to use a lottery to allocate research funding (for our Explorer Grant scheme). This is a somewhat controversial approach because, despite the documented problems of peer review, many researchers believe that funding should be allocated solely using peer review, and peer review is used almost ubiquitously by funding agencies around the world.

In a newly published paper, we present the results of a survey of Health Research Council applicants from 2013 to 2019 asking about the acceptability of using a lottery and if the lottery meant they took a different approach to their application. Given the rarity of alternative funding schemes, there is international interest in hearing from the first cohort of researchers to ever experience a lottery. Additionally, we wanted to hear from applicants about the acceptability of the randomisation process and anonymity of applicants. Check out the findings here.