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Early career grants, performance, and careers: A study on predictive validity of grant decisions
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics. Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1292-8239
2015 (English)In: Journal of Informetrics, ISSN 1751-1577, E-ISSN 1875-5879, Vol. 9, no 4, 826-838 p., 580Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main rationale behind career grants is helping top talent to develop into the next generation leading scientists. Does career grant competition result in the selection of the best young talents? In this paper we investigate whether the selected applicants are indeed performing at the expected excellent level-something that is hardly investigated in the research literature.We investigate the predictive validity of grant decision-making, using a sample of 260 early career grant applications in three social science fields. We measure output and impact of the applicants about ten years after the application to find out whether the selected researchers perform ex post better than the non-successful ones. Overall, we find that predictive validity is low to moderate when comparing grantees with all non-successful applicants. Comparing grantees with the best performing non-successful applicants, predictive validity is absent. This implies that the common belief that peers in selection panels are good in recognizing outstanding talents is incorrect. We also investigate the effects of the grants on careers and show that recipients of the grants do have a better career than the non-granted applicants. This makes the observed lack of predictive validity even more problematic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 9, no 4, 826-838 p., 580
Keyword [en]
Academic careers, Career grants, Gender differences, Grant allocation, Predictive validity, Decision making, Behavioral research
National Category
Work Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-175612DOI: 10.1016/j.joi.2015.07.011ISI: 000367612600011ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84940823440OAI: diva2:866363

QC 20151102. QC 20160201

Available from: 2015-11-02 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Sandström, Ulf
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