The present paper examines the relation between size, accumulation and performance for research grants, where we examine the relation between grant size for Centres of Excellence (CoE) funded by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) and various ex post research performance measures, including impact and shares of highly cited articles. We examine both the relation between size and performance and also how performance for CoEs evolves over the course of grant periods. In terms of dynamics, it appears that performance over the grant period (i.e. 10 years) is falling for the largest CoEs, while it is increasing for those among the smallest half. Overall, multivariate econometric analysis finds evidence that performance is increasing in grant size and over time. In both cases, the relation appears to be non-linear, suggesting that there is a point at which performance peaks. The CoEs have also been very successful in securing additional funding, which can be viewed as a 'cumulative effect' of center grants. In terms of new personnel, the far majority of additional funding is spent on early career researchers, hence, this accumulation would appear to have a 'generational' dimension, allowing for scientific expertise to be passed on to an increasing number of younger researchers.
Bloch, C., Schneider, J. W., & Sinkjær, T. (2016). Size, accumulation and performance for research grants: Examining the role of size for centres of excellence. PLoS ONE, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147726