Funding incentives, collaborative dynamics and scientific productivity: Evidence from the EU framework program

Daniela Defazio, Andy Lockett, Mike Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (SciVal)


In this paper we examine how incentives for collaboration shape collaborative behavior and researcher productivity in the context of EU-funded research networks. EU-funded research networks require researchers to collaborate as a condition for securing research funding. The presence of research funding, therefore, may influence collaborative behavior. Our approach involves isolating the effects of funding, collaboration and previous collaborations (prior to funding) on research output, and examining how the pattern of collaboration affects research productivity over time. Employing a panel of 294 researchers in 39 EU research networks over a 15-year period we find that while the impact of funding on productivity is generally positive the overall impact of collaboration within the funded networks is weak. When we delineate between pre-, during- and post-funding periods, however, we find some important differences. During the period of funding, collaboration did not lead to an increase in research production. In the post-funding period we find that although the number of collaborations decreases within the network, the impact of collaboration on productivity is positive and significant. Our findings suggest that collaborations formed to capitalize on funding opportunities, while not effective in enhancing researcher productivity in the short run, may be an important promoter of effective collaborations in the longer run.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-305
Number of pages13
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Collaboration
  • EU-funded networks
  • Research productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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