To apply or not to apply: a survey analysis of grant writing costs and benefits.

Published on Mar 4, 2015in PLOS ONE2.78
· DOI :10.1371/journal.pone.0118494
Ted von Hippel7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach),
Courtney von Hippel17
Estimated H-index: 17
(UQ: University of Queensland)
We surveyed 113 astronomers and 82 psychologists active in applying for federally funded research on their grant-writing history between January, 2009 and November, 2012. We collected demographic data, effort levels, success rates, and perceived non-financial benefits from writing grant proposals. We find that the average proposal takes 116 PI hours and 55 CI hours to write; although time spent writing was not related to whether the grant was funded. Effort did translate into success, however, as academics who wrote more grants received more funding. Participants indicated modest non-monetary benefits from grant writing, with psychologists reporting a somewhat greater benefit overall than astronomers. These perceptions of non-financial benefits were unrelated to how many grants investigators applied for, the number of grants they received, or the amount of time they devoted to writing their proposals. We also explored the number of years an investigator can afford to apply unsuccessfully for research grants and our analyses suggest that funding rates below approximately 20%, commensurate with current NIH and NSF funding, are likely to drive at least half of the active researchers away from federally funded research. We conclude with recommendations and suggestions for individual investigators and for department heads.
  • References (13)
  • Citations (12)
Published on Mar 9, 2016in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon1.15
Markus K. Heinemann18
Estimated H-index: 18
Jason M. Sheltzer10
Estimated H-index: 10
(MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology),
Joan C. Smith2
Estimated H-index: 2
Women make up over one-half of all doctoral recipients in biology-related fields but are vastly underrepresented at the faculty level in the life sciences. To explore the current causes of women’s underrepresentation in biology, we collected publicly accessible data from university directories and faculty websites about the composition of biology laboratories at leading academic institutions in the United States. We found that male faculty members tended to employ fewer female graduate students ...
Published on Feb 14, 2014in Circulation Research15.86
Narasimhan Danthi7
Estimated H-index: 7
(NIH: National Institutes of Health),
Colin O. Wu47
Estimated H-index: 47
(NIH: National Institutes of Health)
+ 1 AuthorsMichael S. Lauer83
Estimated H-index: 83
(NIH: National Institutes of Health)
Rationale:Funding decisions for cardiovascular R01 grant applications at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) largely hinge on percentile rankings. It is not known whether this approach enables the highest impact science. Objective:Our aim was to conduct an observational analysis of percentile rankings and bibliometric outcomes for a contemporary set of funded NHLBI cardiovascular R01 grants. Methods and Results:We identified 1492 investigator-initiated de novo R01 grant applica...
Alexis J. Carulli5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UM: University of Michigan)
The federal sequester has exacerbated an already grim research funding crisis. The continued budget cuts have had a widespread effect on all researchers in biomedical science, but the impact is especially keen on trainees who are deciding whether or not to stay in science. Steps must be taken to bolster young researcher morale, career options and funding to ensure the continued advancement of biomedical science in this country.
Published on Jun 1, 2011in Nature Medicine30.64
Michelle Pflumm3
Estimated H-index: 3
Published on Feb 1, 2011in Higher Education3.00
Lucinda Barrett7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Salford),
Peter Barrett22
Estimated H-index: 22
(University of Salford)
Career progression for women academics to higher levels is not in proportion to their representation within the profession. This paper looks at theories about this and relates them to current practices within universities for allocating work. The management of workloads can disadvantage women through a number of interactive factors. Interruptions in continuity of employment and fractional contracts can work to exclude or hinder research activity, an area pivotal for higher progression. The issue...
Published on Nov 17, 2010in PLOS ONE2.78
Michael R. Martin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Center for Scientific Review),
Andrea N. Kopstein5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration),
Joy M. Janice1
Estimated H-index: 1
There has been the impression amongst many observers that discussion of a grant application has little practical impact on the final priority scores. Rather the final score is largely dictated by the range of preliminary scores given by the assigned reviewers. The implication is that the preliminary and final scores are the same and the discussion has little impact. The purpose of this examination of the peer review process at the National Institutes of Health is to describe the relationship bet...
Published on Jan 1, 2010
Va Arlington1
Estimated H-index: 1
Published on Jan 1, 2008in American Psychologist3.60
Herbert W. Marsh120
Estimated H-index: 120
(University of Oxford),
Upali W. Jayasinghe18
Estimated H-index: 18
(UNSW: University of New South Wales),
Nigel W. Bond10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Western Sydney)
Peer review is a gatekeeper, the final arbiter of what is valued in academia, but it has been criticized in relation to traditional psychological research criteria of reliability, validity, generalizability, and potential biases. Despite a considerable literature, there is surprisingly little sound peer-review research examining these criteria or strategies for improving the process. This article summarizes the authors' research program with the Australian Research Council, which receives thousa...
Cited By12
Published on Dec 1, 2019in Scientific Reports4.01
Alessandra Frau1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Liverpool),
John Kenny14
Estimated H-index: 14
+ 8 AuthorsAlistair C. Darby30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of Liverpool)
Microbial ecology studies are often performed through extraction of metagenomic DNA followed by amplification and sequencing of a marker. It is known that each step may bias the results. These biases have been explored for the study of bacterial communities, but rarely for fungi. Our aim was therefore to evaluate methods for the study of the gut mycobiome. We first evaluated DNA extraction methods in fungal cultures relevant to the gut. Afterwards, to assess how these methods would behave with a...
Published on Jun 1, 2019in British Dental Journal1.44
Clovis Mariano Faggion1
Estimated H-index: 1
(WWU: University of Münster),
Nikolaos Nikitas Giannakopoulos2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Würzburg)
Dental meetings are important venues for sharing knowledge and experiences among researchers and clinicians. The costs for participating in such events, however, are high and have increased over the years. This opinion paper discusses the fairness of such a policy, with high costs for researchers presenting their findings, as well as some suggestions to reduce the economic burden of participants actively involved in presenting their research findings.
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Higher Education3.00
Finn Jørgensen11
Estimated H-index: 11
(Nord University),
Thor-Erik Sandberg Hanssen5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Nord University)
This paper first briefly reviews the worldwide development of the size of the university sector, its research merits and authorities’ use of incentive systems for its academic staff. Then, the paper develops a static model of a researcher’s behaviour, aiming to discuss how different salary reward schemes and teaching obligations influence his or her research merits. Moreover, special focus is placed on discussing the importance of the researcher’s skills and of working in solid academic environm...
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Trends in Ecology and Evolution15.24
Daniel Bearup6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UKC: University of Kent),
Dylan Z. Childs (University of Sheffield), Robert P. Freckleton56
Estimated H-index: 56
(University of Sheffield)
Restricting application rates is an attractive way for funders to reduce time and money wasted evaluating uncompetitive applications. However, mathematical models show that this could induce chaotic cycles in total application numbers, increasing uncertainty in the funding process. One emergent property is that smaller institutions spend disproportionally more time unfunded.
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Scientometrics2.77
Kevin W. Boyack27
Estimated H-index: 27
Caleb Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UM: University of Michigan),
Richard Klavans21
Estimated H-index: 21
Citation analysis and discourse analysis of 369 R01 NIH proposals are used to discover possible predictors of proposal success. We focused on two issues: the Matthew effect in science—Merton’s claim that eminent scientists have an inherent advantage in the competition for funds—and quality of writing or clarity. Our results suggest that a clearly articulated proposal is more likely to be funded than a proposal with lower quality of discourse. We also find that proposal success is correlated with...
Published on Jan 1, 2018
Sarah C. Hokanson (BU: Boston University), Bennett B. Goldberg41
Estimated H-index: 41
(NU: Northwestern University)
Abstract Early career advantages in academia tend to accumulate, providing future advantages to postdocs as their careers continue. Cumulative advantages can begin as early as in the training stage, where opportunities for success are primarily influenced by whether or not trainees have access to be engaged, positive and supportive mentoring relationships. Strong postdoc–faculty relationships have been demonstrated to influence the postdoc's career satisfaction and success (Davis, 2005) but can ...
Published on 2017in arXiv: Digital Libraries
Richard Klavans21
Estimated H-index: 21
Kevin W. Boyack27
Estimated H-index: 27
Stakeholders in the science system need to decide where to place their bets. Example questions include: Which areas of research should get more funding? Who should we hire? Which projects should we abandon and which new projects should we start? Making informed choices requires knowledge about these research options. Unfortunately, to date research portfolio options have not been defined in a consistent, transparent and relevant manner. Furthermore, we don't know how to define demand for these o...
Published on Aug 1, 2017in Science & Public Policy1.57
Olivier Bégin-Caouette3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal),
Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt7
Estimated H-index: 7
(AU: Aarhus University),
Cynthia C Field1
Estimated H-index: 1
(OISE/UT: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)
Public research funding is both a symbol of the relationship between the state and universities, and a powerful policy instrument to influence the direction and nature of research. This study analyses the perspectives of Danish, Finish, Norwegian, and Swedish system actors regarding the impact of block, competitive, strategic, and excellence funding streams on academic research production. It follows a convergent-mixed method design based on 456 questionnaires and 56 interviews. Average survey s...
View next paperFunding grant proposals for scientific research : retrospective analysis of scores by members of grant review panel