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The inhibiting factors that principal investigators experience in leading publicly funded research

Author

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  • James Cunningham

    ()

  • Paul O’Reilly

    ()

  • Conor O’Kane

    ()

  • Vincent Mangematin

    ()

Abstract

Securing public funding to conduct research and leading it by being a principal investigator (PI) is seen as significant career development step. Such a role brings professional prestige but also new responsibilities beyond research leadership to research management. If public funding brings financial and infrastructure support, little is understood about the inhibiting factors that publicly funded PIs face given the research autonomy offered by publicly funded research. Our study finds that there are three key PI inhibiting factors (1) political and environmental, (2) institutional and (3) project based. Traditional knowledge, skills and technical know-how of publicly funded PIs are insufficient to deal with the increasing managerial demands and expectations i.e. growing external bureaucracy of public funding agencies. Public funding is no longer the ‘freest form of support’ as suggested by Chubin and Hackett (Peerless science: peer review and US science policy. Suny Press, New York, 1990 ) and the inhibiting factors experienced by publicly funded PIs limits their research autonomy. We also argue that PIs have little influence in overcoming these inhibiting factors despite their central role in conducting publicly funded research. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • James Cunningham & Paul O’Reilly & Conor O’Kane & Vincent Mangematin, 2014. "The inhibiting factors that principal investigators experience in leading publicly funded research," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 93-110, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:39:y:2014:i:1:p:93-110
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-012-9269-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cunningham, James & Link, Albert, 2014. "Fostering University‐Industry R&D Collaborations in European Union Countries," UNCG Economics Working Papers 14-3, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9795-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9490-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. James A. Cunningham & Paul O’Reilly & Brendan Dolan & Conor O’Kane & Vincent Mangematin, 2016. "Publicly funded principal investigators allocation of time for public sector entrepreneurship activities," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(4), pages 383-408, December.
    5. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9491-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Guerrero, Maribel & Cunningham, James A. & Urbano, David, 2015. "Economic impact of entrepreneurial universities’ activities: An exploratory study of the United Kingdom," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 748-764.
    7. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9499-y is not listed on IDEAS
    8. James A. Cunningham & Vincent Mangematin & Conor O’Kane & Paul O’Reilly, 2016. "At the frontiers of scientific advancement: the factors that influence scientists to become or choose to become publicly funded principal investigators," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 778-797, August.
    9. Greco, Marco & Grimaldi, Michele & Cricelli, Livio, 2017. "Hitting the nail on the head: Exploring the relationship between public subsidies and open innovation efficiency," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 213-225.
    10. Qiantao Zhang & Niall G. MacKenzie & Dylan Jones-Evans & Robert Huggins, 2016. "Leveraging knowledge as a competitive asset? The intensity, performance and structure of universities’ entrepreneurial knowledge exchange activities at a regional level," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 657-675, October.

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