Chapter 13 Research funding in the context of high institutional stratification: policy scenarios for Europe based on insights from the United States
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This paper argues that stratified structures in university systems should be addressed more explicitly in debates on research funding. The paper connects findings from several streams of literature on US-American research universities: (a) the relationship of organizational status and scientific quality, (b) positional competitions among elite universities, (c) concentration of research funding, and (d) faculty exchange networks as measures of university prestige. Taken together, these literatures reveal a crystalline hierarchy with intense competition for scientific talent at the top but little opportunity for upward institutional and personal mobility. While elite universities provide advantages in terms of research output and prestige, the findings point to social closure as a potentially problematic outcome for a democratic knowledge society. Therefore, the comparison highlights two policy challenges by means of two scenarios: closing the gap in organizational resources, while at the same time ensuring continuing expansion of the research university system in Europe.

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