IDEAS FOR SALE


How does funding work in the sciences?


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Ideas for Sale

Growing Pains
Resources, competition, and our institutional character

When the focus shifts to the bottom line, basic research always takes a hit.
Margo Bagley, Assistant Professor of Law

Technology transfer is just a subset of knowledge transfer.
Dennis Liotta, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry

New: "If technology transfer offers a solution to the funding crisis in higher education, it does so only in a very limited way."
An interview with Lanny Liebeskind, Professor of Chemistry

Show me the money . . .
1997 licensing income and patents from Emory and other institutions

What is applied research?

Overheard on campus
Remarks from Stanley Chodorow, CEO of the California Virtual University and former provost of the University of Pennsylvania


Academic Exchange December 1999/January 2000 Contents Page

While universities pay some salary to researchers in the sciences, part of their salary and much of the cost of doing research is underwritten by agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Typically, a faculty member or group of faculty submits a proposal to an agency where it usually undergoes a rigorous peer review. Far less than half of all proposals receive funding. Sponsored research at Emory, however, has more than doubled in the last seven years and in 1999 totaled $205.7 million. Grants cover the cost of everything used in the research, like lab equipment and supplies, and also some of the indirect expenses, like facilities and administrative costs. While funds for research are restricted to research activities, the percentage of the grant tagged as "indirect" goes to the school that earned the award and is "unrestricted," meaning that the school can use it however it sees fit. According to Nancy Wilkinson of the Office of Sponsored Programs, the typical amount of an Emory grant from the NIH is $250,000. This system has its strengths and weaknesses, says chemistry professor Joseph Justice. Since most awards cover only a three to five-year period, it is hard to make longer-term plans or hire people for longer periods. Competing for funding, however, keeps the work dynamic. A.B.B.