There are many kinds of research and many kinds of people involved in research. Sometimes what seems useless at the time can have huge consequences a generation later (and sometimes not). Some research results which seem a triumph at the time are show useless by later developments. A career in research requires dedication and talent, but is highly risky in terms of personal and institutional success. How can all of these factors be balanced?
Pay everyone $400 per week (current age pension), rich or poor, indexed to the CPI. Governments print the money (they do now), and the money goes around. You have an economy. Employers pay a margin above the UBI to attract workers if they want them (overall probably cheaper for them than now). A true market then controls most working conditions, not the current blackmail. Centrelink (now a failed organization) not needed. Tax system simplified. Automation taking jobs doesn’t matter. Health costs fall. People can choose to learn, grow and think. Free university & tech (like Germany). Employment for satisfaction, more money and/or career interest.