The Drawbacks of Project Funding for Epistemic Innovation: Comparing Institutional Affordances and Constraints of Different Types of Research Funding

Minerva 56 (1):11-33 (2018)

Abstract

Over the past decades, science funding shows a shift from recurrent block funding towards project funding mechanisms. However, our knowledge of how project funding arrangements influence the organizational and epistemic properties of research is limited. To study this relation, a bridge between science policy studies and science studies is necessary. Recent studies have analyzed the relation between the affordances and constraints of project grants and the epistemic properties of research. However, the potentially very different affordances and constraints of funding arrangements such as awards, prizes and fellowships, have not yet been taken into account. Drawing on eight case studies of funding arrangements in high performing Dutch research groups, this study compares the institutional affordances and constraints of prizes with those of project grants and their effects on organizational and epistemic properties of research. We argue that the prize case studies diverge from project-funded research in three ways: 1) a more flexible use, and adaptation of use, of funds during the research process compared to project grants; 2) investments in the larger organization which have effects beyond the research project itself; and 3), closely related, greater deviation from epistemic and organizational standards. The increasing dominance of project funding arrangements in Western science systems is therefore argued to be problematic in light of epistemic and organizational innovation. Funding arrangements that offer funding without scholars having to submit a project-proposal remain crucial to support researchers and research groups to deviate from epistemic and organizational standards.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,805

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-01-09

Downloads
17 (#642,193)

6 months
1 (#386,499)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Similar books and articles

At Arm’s Length? Applied Social Science and its Sponsors.Heidi Kjærnet - 2010 - Journal of Academic Ethics 8 (3):161-169.
Funding, Objectivity and the Socialization of Medical Research.James Robert Brown - 2002 - Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (3):295--308.
Centralized Funding and Epistemic Exploration.Shahar Avin - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx059.
Why Do Funding Agencies Favor Hypothesis Testing?Chris Haufe - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):363-374.
Ethical Issues in Funding Orphan Drug Research and Development.C. A. Gericke - 2005 - Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (3):164-168.