Research Grant Mania

Australian Universities Review, Vol. 50, No. 2, p. 17

Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-06

9 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2009

Date Written: October 20, 2009


Commonwealth funding formulae have caused Australian universities to become obsessed with maximising external research funding.

Considerable pressure is applied to faculties, departments and scholars to apply for funding, and relative success in attracting it is given excessive weight in evaluating research performance. This may be productive in disciplines that require large amounts of research funding. But it can have many negative effects~, especially in other disciplines, such as: a. it is a grossly inaccurate method of evaluating research performance b. the inundation of the ARC with excessive numbers of grant applications c. the diversion of funding from applicants who desperately need it to those who have much less need for it d. an enormous waste of time and effort on doomed grant applications that would have been better spent writing books and journal articles e. the giving of excessive weight to "grantsmanship" at the expense of substantive scholarship in determining appointments and applications for promotion f. subtle distorting effects on research agendas, as projects are devised in order to attract income rather than for their inherent interest and importance, and consequent damage to scholarly morale and enthusiasm; and g. the distortion of research agendas across entire disciplines.

Keywords: Commonwealth funding, Research funding, ARC, Research grants, Grant applications, University research

JEL Classification: A2, A23, A29, I2, I20, I21, I22, I28, I29,

Suggested Citation

Goldsworthy, Jeffrey Denys, Research Grant Mania (October 20, 2009). Australian Universities Review, Vol. 50, No. 2, p. 17; Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-06. Available at SSRN:

Jeffrey Denys Goldsworthy (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics