Research Policy and Grant Proposal WritingUNIVERSITÀ DELLA SVIZZERA ITALIANA
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- Mendrisio (Svizzera)
This course will provide to PhD students information and competences concerning the overall framework of the Swiss research policy and research system, as well as on the interaction with funding agencies and procedures for project submission and proposal writing. These competences are increasingly becoming an essential part of researcher’s training, helping her to interact with its policy and funding environment.
More precisely, the course will deal with the following topics:
- the goals and organisation of the Swiss research policy, as well as a short introduction on the structure of the Swiss research system.
- the type and features of the most important funding instruments available, including Swiss National Science Foundation, European Union, Swiss Innovation Agency.
- the procedures for project submission and how to write grant proposal taking into account the specific requirements and goals of each funding agency.
The courses is structured in two main activities:
a) Six face-to-face lectures on the following topics:
- research collectives and the reputational structure of science
- profiles and strategic positioning of research units.
- the organisation of the Swiss research system.
- §organisation and goals of the Swiss research policy.
- main funding agencies and instruments.
- grant proposal writing and submission.
b) Presentation of paper by course participants
The last part of each lesson will be devoted to a presentation of relevant paper on the topic by individual PhD students. The list of paper is provided below.
c) A practical work consisting in the analysis of a project proposal dealing with its structure, presentation and argumentation strategy.
This work will be done in groups of 3-4 PhD students for each of the four case studies proposed. The case studies will be presented in the introductory lecture; then, students will have to perform the analysis and present the results for discussion in the final course workshop.
Dr. Benedetto Lepori holds a PhD in Communication Sciences with a thesis on the Swiss research and higher education policy at the University of Lugano in 2004. Since 1996, he is responsible of the Research Service of the university and is head of the research group on management and performance of research and higher education institutions in Centre of Organizational Research of the Faculty of Economics.
He is coordinator of the European Network of Indicators Producers (www.enid-europe.org) inside the PRIME Network of Excellence of the 6FP and chair of the PRIME Indicators conference series. His research interests cover the domain of science and higher education policy, firstly at the Swiss level and later on comparative European analysis on project funding and on higher education funding. More generally, his research interests involve the realm of S&T indicators, both at the general methodological level, in the development of new indicators the analysis of public funding of research and in the use of indicators for characterizing scientific fields, especially in social sciences and humanities.
Course programme and syllabus
Lesson 1. General introduction
- introduction to the whole course.
- The reputational structure of science
- Grant proposal writing as a social activity.
- presentation of the case studies and of the practical work.
Readings: reputation and hierarchies in science.
- Merton, R. (1968), The Matthew Effect in Science, Science 159(3810), 56-63.
- Burris, V. (2004). The academic caste system: Prestige hierarchies in PhD exchange networks. American Sociological Review, 69(2), 239–264.
Lesson 2. Research units profiles and positioning
- research units as multifunctional organizations
- research and its contexts of usage
- strategic differentiation
- the case of Swiss communication sciences
Readings: laboratories and research programmes
- Hackett E. (2005), Essential Tensions: Identity, Control and Risk in Research, Social Studies of Science, 35(5), 787-826.
- Lazega E. et al. (2008), Catching up with big fish in the big pond? Multi-level network analysis trough linked design, Social Networks, 30, 159-176.
Lesson 3. Overview of the Swiss research and higher education system
- an overview of the Swiss research system.
- the organization of Swiss higher education system.
Readings: Universities as organizations
- Musselin, C. (2007). Are universities specific organisations? In G. Krücken, A. Kosmützky & M. Torka(Eds.)Towards a Multiversity? Universities between Global Trends and National Traditions(pp. 63-84). Bielefeld: transcript.
- Covaleski, M. A. & Dirsmith (1988). An Institutional Perspective on the Rise, Social Transformation and Fall of a University Budget Category.Administrative Science Quarterly, 33(4), 562-587.
Lesson 4. Swiss research and higher education policy
- main goal and organisations.
- historical development.
- main issues and future perspectives.
Readings: governing science and higher education
- Clark B. (1983), The Higher Education System. Academic Organization in Cross-National Perspective, University of California Press, Berkeley, cap. 5 “Integration”.
- Bonaccorsi, A. (2008), Search Regimes and Industrial Dynamics of Science, Minerva, 46, 288-315.
Lesson 5. Research funding and grants
- overview of research funding.
- the Swiss situation and some comparative notes with other countries.
- funding agencies and delegation models.
- main grant funding agencies and instruments
Readings: funding markets and their structural characteristics
- Laudel, G. (2006). The art of getting funded: how scientists adapt to their funding conditions.Science and Public Policy, 33(7), 489-504.
- Viner N. Powell, Ph., Green R. (2004), Institutionalized bias in the award of research grants: a preliminary analysis revisiting the principle of cumulative advantage, Research Policy, 33, 443-454.
Lesson 6. Grant proposal writing
- grant proposal writing as comunicative act.
- the argumentation structure.
- the relation to the funding agencies.
- writing style.
Readings: textes in science
- Bazerman, Charles, Shaping Written Knowledge, University of Wisconsin Press, 2000, chapter 2 “What Written Knowledge Does: Three Examples of Academic Discourse”.
- Myers, G. 1990.Writing Biology. Texts in the Social Construction of Knowledge.Madison: The University of Winsconsin Press, chapter 2 “Social Construction in two Biologists’ Proposals”.
Workshop. Discussion of the case studies
- presentation of the results of the case studies and overall discussion.
- synthesis on types of grant proposal and proposal writing.
- conclusion of the course.
Frequency to the course
To be included in your doctoral programme you need:
- to follow all face-to-face lectures.
- To present one of the readings during the course.
- to present the case study at the workshop.
Dates & Location
13.30-16.30, room SI-015
- September 21
- September 28
- October 5
- October 12
- October 19
- November 2
Final workshop: November 23, 09.00-14.00