Does it pay to do novel science? The selectivity patterns in science funding

Charles Ayoubi, Michele Pezzoni, Fabiana Visentin

Research output: Working paper / PreprintDiscussion paper


Public funding of science aims to provide the necessary investment for the radical scientific discoveries of tomorrow. This paper brings evidence that the funding process is not always awarding the most novel scientists. Exploiting rich data on all applications to a leading Swiss research funding program, we find that novel scientists have a higher probability of applying for funds than non-novel scientists, but they get on average lower ratings by grant evaluators and have lower chances of being funded.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUNU-MERIT working papers
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers

JEL classifications

  • i23 - Higher Education and Research Institutions
  • o38 - Technological Change: Government Policy


  • competitive research grants
  • public funding evaluation
  • novelty in science

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