By Aurélie Tricoire
"This paper shows how the process of competitive research funding allocation increases the qualitative differentiation between research teams in terms of experimental reliability, staff training, and visibility among their own disciplinary community. Indeed, competition impacts individuals, groups, and projects by influencing careers, networks, and scientific content. To penetrate the secrets of the competitive allocation system for research funding is an important issue for a scientist, even though it takes a lot of time. It requires knowing the assessment process closely and subscribing to multiple counter-strategies that allow projects submitters to diversify their chance of obtaining funding by developing a portfolio of projects. This process of double insurance – through refinement of project content and multiple submissions – tries to offset the high degree of uncertainty that remains regarding the proposal’s acceptability, which largely depends on the quality of competitors’ projects. These increasingly burdensome requirements affect the scientist’s daily activities. The team’s organization is modified, with increased task division; the scientific content is adjusted to take into account the funding agencies’ agendas. The scientific networks are structured in order to answer the funding selection criteria. The link between the funding allocation scheme and the daily scientists’ activities raises the issue of how to define scientific practices. JEL codes: O22, O31, O32, O39"