The Role of Charitable Funding in University Research

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There has been a diversification in the sources of university research funding in recent decades. While substantial research efforts have explored and discussed the implications of this diversification, with the exception of biomedical research the role of charities has typically been neglected, despite their importance in funding university research. This paper explores the significance of charitable funding in academic research through the sponsorship of doctoral students. We demonstrate a sponsor classification strategy which classifies PhD theses by sponsor type with high accuracy and coverage. We find that: (1) charities play a significant role in funding doctoral students particularly within medical research, (2) charities are prominent in the wider network of research sponsors, and (3) they exhibit distinct preferences in terms of the subjects they fund. The dataset generated through this study provides an instrumental resource to initiate greater discussion on the role of this important source of research funding.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience and Public Policy
Early online date21 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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