Scientific Talent Leaks Out of Funding Gaps


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We study how delays in NIH grant funding affect the career outcomes of research personnel. Using comprehensive earnings and tax records linked to university transaction data along with a difference-in-differences design, we find that a funding interruption of more than 30 days has a substantial effect on job placements for personnel who work in labs with a single NIH R01 research grant, including a 3 percentage point (40 working in the US. Incorporating information from the full 2020 Decennial Census and data on publications, we find that about half of those induced into nonemployment appear to permanently leave the US and are 90 publish in a given year, with even larger impacts for trainees (postdocs and graduate students). Among personnel who continue to work in the US, we find that interrupted personnel earn 20 with the largest declines concentrated among trainees and other non-faculty personnel (such as staff and undergraduates). Overall, funding delays account for about 5 meaningful effect on the scientific labor force at the national level.
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