Changes to institutional structures and management of Australian agricultural R&D may have affected research performance. These changes have included shifts in institutional arrangements, increased focus on research management and accountability, integration of research effort, and greater involvement in research by producers. We see these changes as generally beneficial to the delivery of more relevant outputs and improved impacts. We make comment on measuring trends in the performance of R&D and the methods and findings of some Australian economic evaluations of research investment, using both top down and bottom up approaches. We then suggest a wider framework for evaluating R&D performance and agricultural R&D investment.