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Scientists’ Participation in University Research Centers: What are the Gender Differences?


  • Elizabeth Corley


  • Monica Gaughan



University-affiliated multidisciplinary research centers have grown in importance in academia. Most research to-date has focused on these centers from an institutional perspective, with recent work only beginning to explore the ways in which such centers affect the development of academic careers. Hence, little is known about how scientists who are center-affiliated differ from those who are not affiliated. Clearly, both selection and influence effects may be expected to operate in terms of research productivity, timing, and resources. A further puzzle is how center affiliation may differ between male and female scientists. In this study, we use a new, nationally representative dataset of scientists and engineers working in Carnegie Research Extensive universities to develop an understanding of how center-affiliated scientists differ from exclusively department-based academic scientists and engineers, and investigate the extent to which gender moderates the effects of centers. As expected, our national sample shows that women are younger, whiter, less likely to be tenured, and at a lower rank than their male colleagues. We find that women are as likely to join centers as men, and do so at a similar stage in their career. Most of the male–female differences observed in disciplinary settings are sustained in centers, but women appear to have greater research equality in them (compared to the departmental setting). In particular, men and women in centers spend the same amount of time writing grant proposals, conducting both grant-supported and unfunded research, and administering grants. This suggests that centers may constitute an institutional context in which some aspects of gender equity in science may be achieved. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Corley & Monica Gaughan, 2005. "Scientists’ Participation in University Research Centers: What are the Gender Differences?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 371-381, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:30:y:2005:i:4:p:371-381
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-005-2582-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Craig Boardman & Barry Bozeman, 2006. "Implementing a 'bottom-up,' multi-sector research collaboration: The case of the Texas air quality study," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 51-69.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhiyan Zhao & Anders Broström & Jianfeng Cai, 2020. "Promoting academic engagement: university context and individual characteristics," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 304-337, February.
    2. Grimpe, Christoph, 2012. "Extramural research grants and scientists’ funding strategies: Beggars cannot be choosers?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1448-1460.
    3. Boardman, P. Craig, 2009. "Government centrality to university-industry interactions: University research centers and the industry involvement of academic researchers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1505-1516, December.
    4. Schuelke-Leech, Beth-Anne, 2013. "Resources and research: An empirical study of the influence of departmental research resources on individual STEM researchers involvement with industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1667-1678.
    5. Bührer, Susanne & Frietsch, Rainer, 2020. "How do public investments in gender equality initiatives and publication patterns interrelate? The case of Germany," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    6. Joya Misra & Laurel Smith-Doerr & Nilanjana Dasgupta & Gabriela Weaver & Jennifer Normanly, 2017. "Collaboration and Gender Equity among Academic Scientists," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, March.
    7. Sabharwal, Meghna & Hu, Qian, 2013. "Participation in university-based research centers: Is it helping or hurting researchers?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1301-1311.
    8. Paul Bolger, 0. "A study of faculty perceptions and engagement with interdisciplinary research in university sustainability institutes," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 0, pages 1-15.
    9. Rhoten, Diana & Pfirman, Stephanie, 2007. "Women in interdisciplinary science: Exploring preferences and consequences," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 56-75, February.
    10. Coleen Carrigan & Katie O’Leary & Eve Riskin & Joyce Yen & Matt O’Donnell, 2017. "On-ramping: following women scientists and engineers through their transition from nonacademic to faculty careers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 98-115, February.
    11. Rajeev Goel & Devrim Göktepe-Hultén, 2013. "Nascent entrepreneurship and inventive activity: a somewhat new perspective," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 471-485, August.
    12. Yu Meng, 2018. "Gender distinctions in patenting: Does nanotechnology make a difference?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 114(3), pages 971-992, March.
    13. Bührer, Susanne & Frietsch, Rainer, 2020. "How do public investments in gender equality initiatives and publication patterns interrelate? The case of Germany," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    14. Paola Giuri & Rosa Grimaldi & Anna Kochenkova & Federico Munari & Laura Toschi, 2020. "The effects of university-level policies on women’s participation in academic patenting in Italy," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 122-150, February.
    15. Aschhoff, Birgit & Grimpe, Christoph, 2014. "Contemporaneous peer effects, career age and the industry involvement of academics in biotechnology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 367-381.
    16. Rajeev Goel & Christoph Grimpe, 2013. "Active versus passive academic networking: evidence from micro-level data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 116-134, April.
    17. Beth Coberly & Denis Gray, 2010. "Cooperative research centers and faculty satisfaction: a multi-level predictive analysis," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 547-565, October.
    18. Stoetzer, Matthias-Wolfgang & Osborn, Evan, 2014. "Does gender really matter? An analysis of Jena University scientists collaboration with industry and non-profit-partners," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2014/2, Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule Jena – University of Applied Sciences, Department of Business Administration.
    19. Su, Xuhong, 2014. "Academic scientists’ affiliation with university research centers: Selection dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 382-390.

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