Sunday, May 2, 2010

Research and Grants

It has been awhile since my last activity here; this semester was horrible and it is not over yet. I have a paper for a conference due Monday. That being said, something I really want to research is the corrupting effect of research grants. While I have minimal familiarity with grant funded research outside of economics, I would wager that the same corrupting influences hold sway.

In short, my hypothesis is that grants create perverse incentives for researchers in two ways. One is that it encourages researchers to conduct research that someone else wants regardless of how interesting, relevant, or socially beneficial it is. It creates an incredible bias toward doing research that someone is willing to fund which may or may not be something that is productive. Two is that often the funding source expects a certain answer and the researcher is then prone to twist the results in order to deliver the desired answer to the funding source.

More to come, hopefully. If this isn't a way to derail my academic future before it starts I don't know what will!