Research Policy, vol. 39:5 June 2010, pp. 674-686
Increasing the level of integration is currently an important policy objective for European research. This brings to light issues regarding the meaning and nature of integration and integration in research; issues associated with the mechanisms to enable and facilitate higher levels of integration in research as part of a policy process; and issues related to the assessment and evaluation of success or failure of policy instruments. The paper addresses these issues by introducing a nuanced conceptualisation developed with particular reference to the policy task for promoting integration and proposing a framework that captures essential features in integrative processes in researchboth at the level of researchers and organisations. Furthermore, an empirical example of a network of Excellence is used to illustrate how the proposed framework can be applied.