In the knowledge society, science aid to low-income countries promises to be a catalyst for achieving sustainable development goals. Science aid may include support to research infrastructure such as labs and ICT, research networks, research policy development and direct research project funding in bilateral cooperation with high-income country universities (including PhD training). However, the issue of how to support science in a way that generates direct development impacts as well as sustained local research capacity remains contentious.
Given the emphasis on science, technology and the role of universities in development, it is of interest to analyze the policies and strategies of influential foreign aid donors related to science. Do they support capacity building or immediately applicable research results? What types of ideologies of science do they reflect? In my PhD dissertation, I analyzed the pioneer science aid actor Sarec from a historical perspective, and as a next step I hope to conduct a comparative study focusing on the science aid of OECD-countries.