Seminar by Dr. Wei Yang Tham, Harvard University

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Event details

Date and time 09.12.2019 12:0013:30  
Place and room
Speaker Wei Yang Tham, Harvard University
Category Conferences - Seminars
"Science, Interrupted: How Scientists Respond to Funding Disruptions"

Abstract
I study how scientists respond when funding is interrupted and how it affects their productivity. I focus on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this context, funding interruptions occur when a grant expires and is not renewed immediately. I find that relative to projects that received funding continuously, interrupted scientists reduce spending on research inputs by 50% per month in the year before a major grant expires. This reduction continues even after funding resumes, suggesting that there are frictions that prevent labs from resuming research activity immediately. The reduction in spending is mitigated when scientists have other grants to draw on. Evidence on the effect of interruptions on productivity is mixed, suggesting either a small or null effect on publication quantity.