Facilitating 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

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


In addition to partnership building, convening and knowledge sharing, the network specifically engages in the following activities:
  • Organises 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, round table discussions and seminars.

Steering Group Members

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.”

The Research Forum is part of the EFC’s ongoing commitment to enhancing collaboration and connecting its members. For more information on the EFC’s seven key priorities, please download the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022