In its initiative focussing Central Asia and the Caucasus the Foundation especially supports the capacity development in research and higher education in the region. In Tbilisi, Georgia, 11 postgraduates now benefit from a novel, clearly structured doctoral program.
Selection processes in research funding are known to be unreliable, costly and prone to bias. Injecting some randomness into the process may improve science while improving fairness and efficiency, says Dorothy Bishop, a neuropsychologist in Oxford, who started a lively online-discussion among researchers.
Quantitative metrics are playing an increasingly important role in the assessment of academic careers. Wilhelm Krull, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation, considers other characteristics to be more important.