Grants: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Puzzling

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Grants play a major role in higher education, including kinesiology. However, critical commentaries on the role of external funds appear nonexistent in kinesiology. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to outline the most common criticisms of grants to stimulate a conversation in kinesiology. First, I discuss benefits of grants. Second, I examine the role of grants in higher education. Third, I discuss how external funds are not required to contribute meaningful research. Fourth, I examine how a major reason for grants, to produce research publications, often goes unfullfilled. Fifth, I show how the development of grant applications (especially unsuccessful applications) is an inefficient expenditure of resources. Sixth, I discuss how pursuing grants can be detrimental to other important academy goals. Seventh, I examine how grants may negatively influence faculty and administrator morale and quality of life. Eighth, I report on some common criticisms of the grant review process and discuss some alternative reviewing systems. Finally, I end with a brief summary and some recommendations.

The author (aa3975@wayne.edu) is with the Div. of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

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