Know when to fold ‘em: An empirical description of risk management in public research funding
بدانید چه موقع برابر شوید: شرح تجربی مدیریت ریسک در بودجه تحقیق عمومی-2020
Public research funding programs typically make grants with minimal intervention by program staff, rather than using a hands-on approach to project management, which is more common in the private sector. In contrast, program staff at the US Department of Energys Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) are given a set of real options with which to manage funded projects: abandon, contract or expand project budgets or timelines. Using internal data from ARPA-E, we show that active project management enables risk mitigation across a portfolio of research projects. We find that program staff modify projects frequently, especially project timelines, and these changes are more sensitive to poor performance than to strong performance. We also find that projects with a shortened timeline or reduced budget are less likely to generate short-term research outputs, compared to those of ultimately similar size. This evidence suggests that the practice of active project management, when combined with high upfront risk tolerance, can be used to enhance the productivity of missionoriented public research funding.
Keywords: R&D funding | Project management | Real options | Managerial flexibility