IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Up or out? How individual research grants affect academic careers in the Netherlands


  • Sander Gerritsen


  • Karen van der Wiel


  • Erik Plug (UVA)


This paper investigates the effect of obtaining an individual research grant (Vernieuwingsimpuls or IRI -grant) on the careers of Dutch scientists. The main goal of this scheme of the Dutch Research Council is to provide relatively young, talented scientists with appealing career opportunities in academia. We find that the receipt of an IRI-grant enhances the probability of a successful career in science. Read also: CPB Discussion Paper 248 We evaluate the causal effect of an IRI-grant on labor-market outcomes by taking advantage of the discontinuity in the relationship between the priority scores given to each application and the actual receipt of a grant. Six years after application, grant recipients are more likely to stay in academia (six percentage points), more likely to be a full professor (seven percentage points) and more likely to receive future grants (five percentage points). However, grant receipt does not yield higher wages. Apparently IRI-grantees are purely rewarded for winning a grant in terms of the opportunity to do their self-selected research. It seems likely that this free research time is combined with a lower teaching load. In addition, we find that successful applicants are not rewarded in terms of their contract type either. Six years after application, the probability to work on a permanent contract is ten percentage points smaller for the successful applicants. This is not only driven by those applicants leaving academia for a sector in which permanent contracts are more customary. Also within the large group of applicants who stay in academia, those who win an IRI-grant are less likely to have obtained a permanent contract. This academic discussion paper is an example of CPB’s research on science policy. Another discussion paper is published simultaneously on the effects of STW-grants on scientific productivity and utilization ( CPB Discussion Paper 248 ).

Suggested Citation

  • Sander Gerritsen & Karen van der Wiel & Erik Plug (UVA), 2013. "Up or out? How individual research grants affect academic careers in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 249, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:249

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua Angrist & Miikka Rokkanen, 2012. "Wanna Get Away? RD Identification Away from the Cutoff," NBER Working Papers 18662, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pezzoni, Michele & Sterzi, Valerio & Lissoni, Francesco, 2012. "Career progress in centralized academic systems: Social capital and institutions in France and Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 704-719.
    3. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    4. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 215-261.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2010. "The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 7-59, January.
    6. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
    7. Bornmann, Lutz & Leydesdorff, Loet & Van den Besselaar, Peter, 2010. "A meta-evaluation of scientific research proposals: Different ways of comparing rejected to awarded applications," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 211-220.
    8. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent & Visser, Michael, 2008. "Publish or peer-rich? The role of skills and networks in hiring economics professors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 423-441, June.
    9. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    10. Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "The Economics of Science - Funding for Research," ICER Working Papers 12-2010, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    11. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1168-1177, October.
    12. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1168-1177.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Aboal, Diego & Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2016. "The impact of ex-ante subsidies to researchers on researcher's productivity: Evidence from a developing country," MERIT Working Papers 019, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:249. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.