The important thing is not to win, it is to take part. What if scientists benefit from participating in competitive grant races?

Fabiana Visentin, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

The important thing is not to win, it is to take part”, this famous saying by Pierre de Coubertin, the father of modern Olympic Games asserts that the value athletes draw from an Olympic competition lies in their participation in the event and not in the gold they collect during it. In this paper, we find a similar reality for scientists taking part in competitive grant races. Specifically, we rely on unique rich data of a Swiss funding program, SINERGIA, and find that simply being involved in an application has a positive effect on a scientist’s publication activity and on the average impact factor of the journals where she publishes. Participating in a competitive grant also benefits the learning and collaboration network of applicants. The time and effort spent in preparing the proposal seem to be stimulating the researcher’s quantitative and qualitative productivity regardless of the results of the competition. Interestingly, we also find that receiving the desired funds seems to be an incentive to establish a co-authorship with co-applicants but has no additional impact on the individual productivity of researchers.

About the speaker

Fabiana Visentin is currently working as Senior Research Fellow at the Chair of Economics and Management of Innovation at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland. Her research interests are focused on the microeconomics of innovation and on the economics of science area. In these topics, her contributions have appeared in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Research Policy, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management and PlosOne.

Venue: Conference Room (0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 21 September 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:00