CORD Speaker Series: Thomas Heinze

How Institutional Context Shapes the Growth of New Research Fields. Comparing Public Research Universities in the United States and Germany, 1980-2010

Friday March 17, 2017
11:00-12:00 pm

The paper examines how universities build up and expand research capabilities in new and
emerging scientific fields. The research question is to what extent the institutional framework
supports the expansion of new research fields. Dependent variable is reception speed with which
research breakthroughs (later awarded a Nobel Prize) were taken up and expanded into research
programs in public research universities in the United States and Germany (1980-2010). The focus
on public research universities is important because it allows a direct comparison between how
institutional contexts work in these two countries. Independent variables include growth in funding,
diversity of funding, and structure of scientific staff. The paper triangulates in-depth case study data
with longitudinal time series data. It outlines differences between the two national university
systems and draws policy conclusions regarding recent changes in staff structure of public research
universities in the United States.

Thomas Heinze is Professor of Organizational Sociology at the University of Wuppertal, Germany