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“Science, interrupted: Funding delays reduce research activity but having more grants helps,” a paper that uses the IRIS UMETRICS dataset, was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Author: Wei Yang Tham, Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University.

Abstract: I study how scientists respond to interruptions in the flow of their research funding, focusing on research grants at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which awards multi-year, renewable grants. However, there can be delays during the renewal process. Over a period beginning three months before and ending one year after these delays, I find that interrupted labs reduce overall spending by 50% but over 90% in the month with the largest decrease. This change in spending is mostly driven by a decrease in payments to employees that is partially mitigated when scientists have other grants to draw on.