Based on a representative national sample of 1564 academic researchers, we investigate the impacts of research grants and contracts on the nature and extent of faculty research and technology activities with industry. A particular focus is on understanding the independent contributions of industry and government grant sources on levels of industrial involvement. In addition to examining the source of grants, the study controls for a number of independent factors including: scientific field, research center affiliation, tenure status, and gender. Results suggest independent effects of grants and contracts on industrial activities. Grants and contracts from industry have a significant effect on academic researchers’ propensity to work with industry, as measured by an “industrial involvement scale.” Federally-sponsored grants also have an impact in increasing work with industry, but a more moderate one. Further, those with more grants and contracts (of each type) have a greater propensity for industrial involvement than those who have such contracts but fewer. This holds even when proxies for productivity and career stage are introduced in regression equations. The analysis also considers whether provision of grants and contracts is best viewed as a predictor of industrial involvement or just another type of industrial involvement using factor analysis and nested multivariate modeling to compare effects.
Bozeman, B., & Gaughan, M. (2007). Impacts of grants and contracts on academic researchers’ interactions with industry. Research policy, 36(5), 694-707.
Toward a useful theory of mentoring a conceptual analysis and critique
In this review and critique of mentoring theory and research, the authors identify persistent problems in the development of mentoring theory. Their conceptual analysis highlights these problems with a “thought experiment” illustrating the inability of mentoring theory and research to resolve certain fundamental issues, the resolution of which is a prerequisite for the advancement of explanatory theory. They conclude with ideas about demarcating “mentoring” from the sometimes confounding concepts “training” or “socialization.” Absent an ability to distinguish mentoring from related activities, progress in explanatory theory will remain impeded.
Bozeman, B., & Feeney, M. K. (2007). Toward a useful theory of mentoring a conceptual analysis and critique. Administration & Society, 39(6), 719-739.
Career strategies for post-doctoral scholars
Federally sponsored multidisciplinary research centers: Learning, evaluation, and vicious circles
Despite the increasing investment in multi-year federally funded science and technology centers in universities, there are few studies of how these centers engage in learning and change based on information submitted from various agents in the oversight and evaluation process. One challenge is how to manage and respond to this evaluative information, especially when it is conflicting. Although the center can learn and adapt in response to this information, it can also become subject to a vicious circle of continuous restructuring and production of documentation to address various and potentially inconsistent recommendations. In this paper we illustrate the effects of such a dynamic based on our experiences as external evaluators of the $25 million NSF-funded Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center. The case study presents an analysis of annual reports and strategic planning documents along with other sources of evidence to illustrate the evolution of center organizational approaches in response to evaluations by external review panels, center evaluators, program managers, and other external stakeholders. We conclude with suggestions for how evaluators may help centers ease the cost of learning and reduce the likelihood of a vicious circle.
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Youtie, J., & Corley, E. A. (2011). Federally sponsored multidisciplinary research centers: Learning, evaluation, and vicious circles. Evaluation and program planning, 34(1), 13
Using curriculum vitae to compare some impacts of NSF research grants with research center funding
While traditional grants remain central in US federal support of academic scientists and engineers, the role of multidisciplinary NSF Centers is growing. Little is known about how funding through these Centers affects scientific output or (as is an NSF aim) increases academic collaboration with industry. This paper tests the use of CVs to examine how Center funding affects researchers' publication rates and their obtaining industry grants.
We find that CVs are indeed usable, but some ways of collecting them work much better than others, and that researchers who obtain Center grants are more likely to obtain grants from industry too, suggesting that this NSF aim is being met. We do not find that Centers improve publication rates.
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Gaughan, M., & Bozeman, B. (2002). Using curriculum vitae to compare some impacts of NSF research grants with research center funding.Research Evaluation, 11(1), 17-26.
Multiplex Career Trajectories of Federally Supported Doctoral Trainees
The federal government supports the majority of doctoral STEM training either directly or indirectly. Entry in to an academic research career remains the preference for the majority of both faculty directors and doctoral students. Recent policy attention has been brought to the fact that the majority of STEM doctoral scientists ultimately work outside of academic science. In this research, I use a sample of federally-supported doctoral level scientists to investigate the variety of career trajectories taken after the graduate degree.
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Gaughan, M. (2015, February). Multiplex Career Trajectories of Federally Supported Doctoral Trainees. In 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting (12-16 February 2015). aaas.