A proposed variant by one of my players that I've given decent thinking to, and it seems to have merit.
One of the problems we have is that our Advancements don't appear in our early game, manifest in the mid game, and are forgotten by the late game. While the mechanics of the Phenomena do help accelerate projects, we find its still a tad slow.
Thus we have considered implementing the following:
During your build phase you may place up to 2 Research tokens on any of your Advancement Projects (instead of 1).
This would mean that any 3 or 4-value Advancement could be finished in 2 turns without a Phenomena, and a 5-value could appear in 3 turns. With a phenomena their speed would be developed even further.
Note that this does NOT increase the number of reasearch tokens you gain. Rather it allows you to gain the benefits of your projects faster via prioritisation.
I realize there is some downside to this in that this could really help improve the Romulan's "Culture" game via completing their projects faster. Also it would mean you may not stockpile your research as easily to develop your Weapons/ Shields.
Beyond that though, I see little issue here. If I've missed something please let me know.