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Dr. F. Visentin and C. Ayoubi present their work at the NBER workshop

Dr. Fabiana Visentin & Charles Ayoubi © 2018 EPFL

Dr. Fabiana Visentin & Charles Ayoubi © 2018 EPFL

Dr. Fabiana Visentin and PhD Student Charles Ayoubi will present their paper co-authored with Michele Pezzoni at the next NBER workshop (National Bureau of Economic Research) in July in Cambridge, MA. Their paper is entitled "The Important Thing is Not to Win, it is to Take Part: What if Scientists Benefit From Participating in Research Grant Competitions?"

The paper is the first to empirically investigate the effects of applying for a research grant and the impact of receiving the desired funds on the scientific outcomes of the scientists involved in the process. It offers a relevant contribution to the analysis of the impact of competition on participating agents. They found that winners are not the only beneficiaries in the process since the mere act of being involved in a competition is beneficial in many aspects.


“The important thing is not to win, it is to take part,” this famous saying by Pierre de Coubertin asserts that the value athletes draw from Olympic games lies in their participation in the event and not in the gold they collect during it. We find similar evidence for scientists involved in grant competitions. Relying on unique data from a Swiss funding program, we find that scientists taking part in a research grant competition boost their number of publications and average impact factor while extending their knowledge base and their collaboration network regardless of the result of the competition. Receiving the funds increases the probability of co-authoring with co-applicants but has no additional impact on the individual productivity.