The Korean government’s support towards the establishment of leading research hubs at universities
began with the initiation of the Science/ Engineering Research Center in 1990. Such efforts to provide support to research organizations have continued for some twenty years in various forms, which implies that building research hubs was critical in acquiring global leadership
in research. However, the effect of such research hub nurturing policies has never been properly evaluated, apart from an assessment of their validity. Therefore, this paper analyzes how major programs to form research groups by providing assistance to joint research by researchers
at universities are operated, and the characteristics of such programs through comparative
analysis with other programs. There are two major focal points in the analysis: the first is the evaluation of the level of differentiation between Research Organization Support Programs (ROP) and other R&D Programs from an efficiency perspective, and the second is an examination of the extent of systematization of research organizations that exist at universities
and impact of Research Organization Support Programs on the activities of participating
professors from an effectiveness perspective.
The result showed that the ROP were no longer only relevant for the formation and maintenance
of research groups. Other R&D Programs are growing increasingly larger in scale and conducted over longer periods of time. Thus, the ROP can no longer be differentiated from other programs in research period and size of funding.
An analysis on the effect of ROP demonstrated that all activities by participating professors
in organizations that were the beneficiaries of group research assistance were more active
compared to their counterparts in organizations that received other research support, but there was little difference in the elements of systematization. This implies that the joint research conducted at universities is not systematized and that it is still research based on proindividual
themes but conducted jointly. In addition, it also means that the ROP is failing to effectively lead the systematization of research. In other words, today, university research organizations are not operated as independent, long-term bodies, but are more relevant as a combination of research units of individual professors.