Visual funding portfolios

How can we understand the past and shape the future of science funding?

Visual funding portfolios allow us to compare the funding profiles of funders and funded institutions at a glance.

This map shows how much funding was spent on different topics in 2012. Similar topics are located close to each other.

Click one of the bubbles to see which funders and funded institutions are most connected to this topic.


How does it work?

First, we calculated a map of the funding landscapes, based on RCDC categories. In this map, the size of the topics indicates the share of funding amounts asscoiated with that topic, while the placement reflects a semantic proximities: more general or crosscutting topics end up in the center, while the more specific themes are located towards the periphery. Two topics are “pulled together” more closely, when they are funded by similar instititutions, based on the mathematical principle of multi-dimensional scaling.

Selecting a topic (by click) presents the organizations whose funding profile features the topic most prominently. You can choose between funding organizations or funded institutions with the tab menu on top of the results section. Hover a circle to see the exact percentage of funding amounts for that topic in the institution’s portfolio.

Project news

Places and Spaces

The project has been chosen to be part of the Places & Spaces exhibit, a ten year effort to document the emerging fields of science mapping and data visualization, curated by Katy Börner at Indiana University. It is a great honour to be able contribute to this effort and we are very happy to see our visualization tour the world as part of the exhibit.

Winner of the Research Visualization contest from the British Library, AHRC and BBSRC

We are proud to have been selected as one of the two winners of the Research Visualisation contest which asking the participants to show how the £3 billion of funding are apportioned across the UK. Our contribution is the result of our efforts to build an information decision support tool for science funders, with several visualization, that allow funders to make the most informed decisions on funding strategy, based on an analysis of both their data and on a shared award database covering the award data from funders around the globe.


This innovative data visualization was created by our team in collaboration with Moritz Stefaner, self-employed Truth & Beauty Operator and a leading expert in data visualization.


Research Councils UK: Data was obtained as public sector information from the Research Councils UK and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0

NIH RePORTER: Data was obtained as public domain information from the National Institutes of Health.

Europe PubMed Central: Data was obtained from EMBL-EBI according to the EBI Terms of Use of the EBI Services.

National Science Foundation: Data was obtained as public domain information from the National Science Foundation.

RCDC Categories: Data was obtained as public domain information from the National Institutes of Health.