For the sake of research! What drives applications to individual and collaborative research grants?

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Universiteit Maastricht, School of Business and Economics, UNU-MERIT, Netherlands

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: English

Student: Pippa van den Brand

Supervisor: İbrahim Semih Akçomak


Climate change is one of the world’s most important grand challenges today. To reduce the effects of climate change, research is necessary to find sustainable solutions. However, high quality research requires neatly designed funding policies, therefore governments need to know what makes certain types of research funding attractive to researchers. The literature describes the selection process for research funding as a two-stage process, where the first step is the self-selection or the motivation to apply; the second stage is the external selection process or the application process (Enger & Castelacci, 2016). This research explores the differences in motivations of the researchers in the field of climate change to apply for the individual and collaborative research grants. NWO grants and EU’s collaborative Framework Program (FP) grants are chosen to investigate the motivational differences of researchers. The methodological tool of semi-structured interviews is used to conduct the research. The eventual sample consists of ten researchers who received the Innovational Research Incentive grant and the collaborative FP funding from the EU. For the Innovational Research Incentive grants the overall motivations were funding, career opportunities and the lack of similar opportunities to achieve research goals. For the collaborative FP funding it was found that networking, the opportunity to connect to interdisciplinary research and sharing knowledge are important drivers.