Minerva 58 (2):261-283 (2020)

Abstract
With the rise of an innovation agenda in science policy, previous studies have identified a shift in how the state delegates responsibility to funding agencies in order to change the behaviour of the scientific community. This paper contributes to this literature through a micro-level study of how one of Canada’s largest research funding agencies, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, has changed resource allocation for research over 25 years. Our study foregrounds research funding agencies as key sites for examining the reconfiguration of the relationship between the state and science, as expressed in programmatic and resource allocation decisions. Through analysis of an original dataset compiled from NSERC’s funding and documentary data, we demonstrate the relationship between the introduction of innovation objectives in funding instruments, the adoption of new delegation modes to guide resource allocation, and changes in funding among research fields over time. Our study empirically demonstrates the cumulative effect of programmatic and funding decisions in a major agency, going beyond previous accounts of more general trends at the national level.
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DOI 10.1007/s11024-020-09396-4
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