Most Scientists Prefer Small and Mid-Sized Research Grants

The Young Academy under the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, in collaboration with The Think Tank DEA and the Independent Research Fund Denmark conducted a survey where we asked Danish scientists to describe their “ideal” research grant. These findings are now discussed as a commentary in Nature Human Behaviour and accompanied by an English summary.

Basic research produces novel insights and discoveries that fuel both applied research and innovation. Scientists are increasingly dependent on their ability to attract competitive funding to pursue their ideas. As a result, the competition for available funds has increased dramatically. This has intensified focus on the availability and size of competitive research grants, yet these discussions are largely shaped by the institutions who allocate and distribute the funds. Little attention has been given to the recipients of these grants, namely the scientists, who utilize competitive funding for their research. To address these issues, we undertook a survey to ask scientists at different career stages and from various scientific disciplines about their ideal research grant. In contrast to the current trend towards larger grants in research funding, the survey clearly showed that most scientists prefer small or medium-sized grants to pursue their ideas and advance their scientific careers.

To access the publication in Nature Human Behaviour please see this link

For a summary in English and the survey in Danish, please see the following link