The impact of a streamlined funding application process on application time: Two cross-sectional surveys of Australian researchers

Barnett, Adrian G., Graves, Nicholas, Clarke, Philip, & Herbert, Danielle (2015) The impact of a streamlined funding application process on application time: Two cross-sectional surveys of Australian researchers. BMJ Open, 5(1), e006912.

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Abstract

Objective: To examine if streamlining a medical research funding application process saved time for applicants.

Design: Cross-sectional surveys before and after the streamlining.

Setting: The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia.

Participants: Researchers who submitted one or more NHMRC Project Grant applications in 2012 or 2014.

Main outcome measures: Average researcher time spent preparing an application and the total time for all applications in working days.

Results: The average time per application increased from 34 working days before streamlining (95% CI 33 to 35) to 38 working days after streamlining (95% CI 37 to 39; mean difference 4 days, bootstrap p value <0.001). The estimated total time spent by all researchers on applications after streamlining was 614 working years, a 67-year increase from before streamlining.

Conclusions: Streamlined applications were shorter but took longer to prepare on average. Researchers may be allocating a fixed amount of time to preparing funding applications based on their expected return, or may be increasing their time in response to increased competition. Many potentially productive years of researcher time are still being lost to preparing failed applications.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 92288
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006912
ISSN: 2044-6055
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Deposited On: 25 Jan 2016 01:46
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2016 23:05

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