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What Matters in Funding: The Value of Research Coherence and Alignment in Evaluators' Decisions

Charles Ayoubi, Sandra Barbosu, Michele Pezzoni and Fabiana Visentin
Additional contact information
Sandra Barbosu: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

No 2020-14, GREDEG Working Papers from Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France

Abstract: Entrepreneurs, managers, and scientists participate in competitive selection processes to obtain resources. The project they propose is a crucial aspect of their success. In this paper, we focus on the selection of scientists applying for academic funding by submitting a research proposal. We argue that two core dimensions of the research proposal affect the probability of funding success: its coherence with the applicant's previous work, and its alignment with subjects of general interest for the scientific community. Employing a neural network algorithm, we analyze the text of 2,494 research proposals for a prestigious fellowship awarded to promising early-stage North American researchers. We find field-specific heterogeneity in the committees' evaluation. In life sciences and chemistry, evaluators value the research proposal's coherence and alignment, while in physics, evaluators weight more bibliometric indicators. Our results can be extended beyond the academic context to managerial implications in cases such as entrepreneurs and managers, submitting project proposals to investors.

Keywords: Research trajectories; research funding; coherence; alignment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cfn and nep-ppm
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Related works:
Working Paper: What Matters in Funding: The Value of Research Coherence and Alignment in Evaluators’ Decisions (2021)
Working Paper: What Matters in Funding: The Value of Research Coherence and Alignment in Evaluators’ Decisions (2020)
Working Paper: What matters in funding: The value of research coherence and alignment in evaluators' decisions (2020) Downloads
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