Research Overheads

diane h. peapus diane at
Wed Jun 21 11:40:38 EST 1995

Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:
: Bert: Canadian NSERC quotes that its administrative 
: costs are ca. 4 % of the budget ( 3.7 % in 1994 report).
: What I am saying, is that such figures are highly
: misleading and, actually, hypocritical. If so many
: researchers are saying that they spend up to 50 % of
: their time for the grantsmanship (Nobel laureate 
: Leon Lederman recently quoted 40 % as a typical figure
: for younger physicists), then ALL THIS TIME is the 
: overhead, as it is taken (stolen) from the productive
: research. (add to this also the reviewing of

: We have to realize, that the responsibility for the
: creating and maintaining this wasteful and
: overcompetitive system is primarily ours, not that
: of the bureaucracy, as WE (and not the "administration")

	Ah, this may be a source for difference in terms.  I'm not
familiar with the Canadian overhead, but in the US, the university
takes about 50% off the top before the PI is allowed to waste 50%
of their 50% on grant writing.  It's the university's 50% that I
am referring to as administrative overhead, and which private
foundations have seen fit to limit, and towards which I see no reason
for Congress not to impose limits as well.

	I'm not debating grantsmanship waste.  I'm merely
pointing to an area that seems to be cut-able in the light of fiscal
cut back.

	diane h peapus

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