Universities: The Fine Art of Grantsmanship

On most U.S. campuses these days, grantsmanship—the fine art of picking off research funds—is almost as important to professorial prestige as the ability to teach or carry out the research once a grant is landed. The competition is keen and the potential prizes are well worth the effort: the Federal Government and private foundations annually present the nation's universities with a $5 billion bonanza in research money.

To be sure, tough screening and accounting procedures help make certain that the bonanza is not a boondoggle; both the givers and the receivers of grants rightly insist that money invested in research has...

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