The demand for science funding
Lunch Seminar in presence
Building BL26/B – Room 0.19 (ground floor)
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering
Via R. Lambruschini, 4/B
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Competitive schemes for allocating funding to scientific research have increasingly come under scrutiny for biases that perpetuate existing inequalities within the scientific community in dimensions such as gender, ethnicity, and others. Partly in response, both governmental agencies and private funders have experimented with eg. double-blinding of funding applications and alternative funding allocation mechanisms that include eg. random allocation, “golden tickets,” or seed-funding elements. Such measures have been evaluated for their immediate bias-reducing effects and their potential impacts in terms of traditional measures of scientific quality, but there remains limited evidence on the demand-side effects within the overall population of scientists: who will actually choose to compete for funding under alternative schemes. To address this question, we combine evidence from three sources: a survey experiment of the research-funding choices of the full population of academic scientists in Denmark; their scientific publication records; and detailed demographics on the survey respondents obtained from the government registry. Calibrating a simple model of scientists’ demand for research funding and their outside options, we find evidence that a more general introduction of random allocation into public research funding schemes will produce strong shifts in composition of the pool of applicants between scientists who are top-ranked by traditional measures and lower-ranked researchers. On the other hand, we find little evidence that a further use of random allocation can effectively address other dimensions of inequalities in science funding eg. due to gender bias.
Valentina Tartari is an Associate Professor in economics and management of innovation at Copenhagen Business School. She has received her PhD from Imperial College Business School in 2013 and has been a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina and at MIT Sloan School of Management. Valentina has been part of the SEI Executive Committee since 2019. She is also an officer of the DRUID Society and has been a rep-at-large for the TIM division at the Academy of Management. Her research focuses on the determinants of knowledge production and transfer, inside and outside academia. Specifically, she studies how academic researchers produce scientific knowledge and how this knowledge is transferred to industry and society at large. Valentina is also interested in the role universities have in stimulating local entrepreneurship. Her work has been published in leading innovation and management journals, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Research Policy and the Journal of Management Studies.