Research Forum

This group of research-funding philanthropic organisations facilitates more effective philanthropic support for research through transnational cooperation and information exchange by creating a sustainable, broad-based network of independent research-funding foundations and providing for them a platform to learn, collaborate and advocate together.

Focus areas

  • European Data Protection Regulation
  • Evaluation and peer review
  • Excellence in research
  • Global science
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Public engagement
  • Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI)
  • Societal challenges
  • STEM education
  • Sustainability


  • Organising biannual Stakeholders’ Conferences on topics of current interest to the broader research community
  • Convenes ad hoc working groups to explore in-depth issues of particular concern to research-funding foundations
  • Hosts exploratory workshops, peer-learning activities, roundtable discussions and seminars

Network background

The Research Forum is one of the follow-up initiatives to the 2005 European Conference and Expert Group Report on the role of foundations and the non-profit sector in boosting investment in research and innovation. It was launched in 2007 as the European Forum for Philanthropy and Research Funding.

Relationship with the SDGs

Understanding European philanthropy, and how its work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, is essential when it comes to finding ways of leveraging existing and potential areas of synergy.

The work of the EFC’s Thematic Networks cover the entire range of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (even if they don’t always refer to them explicitly), which are a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The work of the Research Forum touches upon the following SDGs:

The Research Forum is part of the EFC’s ongoing commitment to collaboration and peer-learning, as outlined in the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022.

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