How is scientific research funded?

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Offline Geezer

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How is scientific research funded?
« on: 30/09/2011 08:22:29 »
I suppose the question really ought be more along the lines of who decides where the funding goes, and how do we know the decisions are not being made in a room filled with cigar smoke and the fumes of expensive brandy?

(Not that I'm suggesting anything inappropriate could possibly be afoot, you understand.)
« Last Edit: 30/09/2011 09:56:43 by Geezer »
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Offline neilep

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How is scientific research funded?
« Reply #1 on: 30/09/2011 10:28:30 »
I heard decisions are fraught and fearlessly battled , debated with punch and counter punch and then settled on via spin-the-bottle......but I thought this was silly until I found out that it's really via Rock, Paper and Scissors !
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Offline Nizzle

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How is scientific research funded?
« Reply #2 on: 04/10/2011 11:07:57 »
As I work in Cancer Research, I can say that in my field, you have two kinds of research funding depending whether the performed study is a "sponsored" or an "academic" study.

Sponsored studies are funded by pharmaceutical companies, with the aim of either marketing a new drug, or proving that one of their already marketed drugs can also be used for a disease/condition for which it isn't being used today (ie: to broaden to field of application of the pharma's drug).

Academic studies are usually funded through charities. These kind of studies mostly compare existing treatments with each other to find out which one is the best in terms of Survival rate, Quality of Life and such. Because you cannot make profit of such studies, companies are not interested and thus money has to come from charities like The Cancer Foundation or what not. Some pharmaceutical companies do sponsor these academic studies by giving a discount on their drugs if they're used in the academic study.

I think in some degree, you can generalize this kind of funding to other scientific fields.. In other words: If there's profit to be made, an interested company could fund the research, and if not, it's usually some government program or charity that'll cough up the much needed money..
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Offline Don_1

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How is scientific research funded?
« Reply #3 on: 04/10/2011 12:27:32 »
Yep, I recon you've just about hit the nail on the head there Nizzle. Industry is only going to put up the dosh if they can see a far greater wad of dosh in return.

Putting up the dosh for medical research is all very well if there is likely to be a pill or potion to sell at the end, but surgical procedure wont be viewed as a potential money spinner. Research into electronics could result in a new communications device, such as the 'iblabber' but will you earn anything from research into the life of the Leatherback Turtle?

If I had a few quid to spare, I'd put it into researching how financial wizards seem to be in abundance with heaps of good advice on how to right the world's economy now, yet didn't seem to be able to see any trouble back in 2007.
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