Kieron has worked on studies of innovation (especially in knowledge intensive and non-technological business or creative service sectors) but most of his work has been in the areas of science, technology and innovation policy.
His work on the funding and management of research has often looked at research infrastructure policy and at research performing organisations such as universities and public research institutes. Other work has focused on policy for/impacts of science, technology and knowledge production activities at the sub-national (regional/city-regional) level. A third strand of work has explored wider issues surrounding the interaction between the policy-making process and science and technology, focusing especially on understanding the institutional channels through which expert scientific and technical advice is offered to and sought by policy-makers.
His recent conceptual work has focused on the role of role of actors/agency, ideas, expertise and institutions in policy dynamics in the domain of science and innovation policy. Work here has focused on the agency of actors in policy processes and how this is constrained by but also shapes institutional contexts, and on the relationship between influential or fashionable scholarly ideas about systems of innovation or 'demand-led' policies and actual policy thinking and practice.
Reflecting an interest in research performing organizations and in the international dimensions of S&T policies, he has also been working on the international migration/mobility of researchers.
He is also working, with colleagues, on how 'mission' and policy-oriented S&T in Government is responding to various trends and pressures. This builds on previous work on government (public sector) labs and on the institutional channels through which expert advice is offered to, and sought by, policy-makers.
Kieron's research has been funded by national governments, international organisations, UK research councils and NGOs. He has published in a range of journals including Research Policy, Research Evaluation and Science and Public Policy.
Kieron has supervised doctoral students working on a range of S&T policy and innovation studies topics.
His main supervisory interest is in the broad area of science and technology policy, especially where the focus is on the policy-making process or policy dynamics (for example the role of scientists, expertise and evidence in policy making, and more generally how the agency of actors, including policy and institutional entrepreneurs but also policy targets and implementers, affects public policy and its outcomes). He is also interested in critical work on 'foundational' and often taken-for-granted concepts in the area of S&T and innovation policy (for instance the 'systems of innovations' concept).
He is interested in supervising work on sub-national (regional and local) science and innovation policies, especially as they relate to the kinds of dynamics described above.
He is also interested in supervising work on scientific research careers and the international mobility of researchers, and in work on the public communication of science and technology policies (e.g. by journalists and commentators).
Finally, on the innovation studies side he is interested in supervising doctoral research on innovation dynamics in non technology based or creative service sectors.