Is Cooperative Research Center Affiliation Amongst Academic Researchers Stratifying the Academy? The Impacts of Departmental Prestige, Career Trajectory, and Productivity on Center Affiliation

  • Xuhong Su
  • Gretchen Keneson


This chapter contribution to the edited volume acknowledges while much research is focused on the effectiveness of cooperative research centers at fulfilling their multiple missions related to research, education, and outreach, that little research has analyzed how centers can stratify academic researchers. Based on a representative sample of academic scientists and engineers working at research extensive universities, Xuhong Su and Gretchen Keneson find evidence that cooperative research centers are more likely to include faculty employed in prestigious departments and who are highly productive. The authors discuss the multiple, competing interpretations of these results (i.e., the merit-based vs. accumulative advantage explanations of the allocation of resources in academia). For complementary examinations, see the chapter by Coberly and Gray on job satisfaction amongst academic faculty participating in cooperative research centers and also the chapter by Garrett-Jones and colleagues on role strain amongst faculty in centers.


Academic Researcher Center Affiliation Tenure Status Cooperative Research Center Tenured Professor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The data on which this research is based was supported by National Science Foundation CAREER grant REC 0447878/0710836, “University Determinants of Women’s Academic Career Success” (Monica Gaughan, Principal Investigator) and NSF grant SBR 9818229, “Assessing R and D Projects’ Impacts on Scientific and Technical Human Capital Development” (Barry Bozeman, Principal Investigator). The views reported here do not necessarily reflect those of National Science Foundation.


  1. Allison PD, Long JS (1990) Departmental effects on scientific productivity. Am Sociol Rev 55(4):469–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison PD, Stewart JA (1974) Productivity differences among scientists: evidence for accumulative advantage. Am Sociol Rev 39(4):596–606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allison PD, Long JS, Krauze TK (1982) Cumulative advantage and inequality in science. Am Sociol Rev 47(5):615–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bastedo MN, Gumport PJ (2003) Access to what? Mission differentiation and academic stratification in U.S. public higher education. High Educ 46(3):341–359. doi: 10.1023/a:1025374011204 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bedeian AG, Feild HS (1980) Academic stratification in graduate management programs: departmental prestige and faculty hiring patterns. J Manage 6(2):99–115. doi: 10.1177/014920638000600201 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blossfeld H-P, Rohwer GT (1995) Techniques of event history modeling: new approaches to causal analysis. Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
  7. Blumberg RL (1984) A general theory of gender stratification. Sociol Theor 2:23–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boardman C, Bozeman B (2007) Role strain in university research centers. J High Educ 78(4):430–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boardman C, Ponomariov B (2007) Reward systems and NSF university research centers: the impact of tenure on university scientists’ valuation of applied and commercially relevant research. J High Educ 78(1):51–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burris V (2004) The academic caste system: prestige hierarchies in PhD exchange networks. Am Sociol Rev 69(2):239–264. doi: 10.1177/000312240406900205 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Devine M, James T, Adams T (1987) Government supported industry-university research centers: issues for successful technology transfer. J Technol Transf 12(1):27–37. doi: 10.1007/bf02371360 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dietz J, Bozeman B (2005) Academic careers, patents, and productivity: industry experience as scientific and technical human capital. Res Policy 34(3):349–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dietz J, Chompalov I, Bozeman B, Lane E, Park J (2000) Using the curriculum vita to study the career paths of scientists and engineers: an exploratory assessment. Scientometrics 49(3):419–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dillman DA, Smyth JD, Christian LM (2009) Internet, mail, and mixed-mode surveys : the tailored design method (3rd ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley & Sons.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gaughan M, Bozeman B (2002) Using curriculum vitae to compare some impacts of NSF research grants with research center funding. Res Eval 11(1):17–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldberger ML, Maher BA, Flattau PE, National Research Council (U.S.), Committee for the Study of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States, Conference Board of the Associated Research Councils, National Research Council (U.S.), Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel, Studies and Surveys Unit (1995) Research-doctorate programs in the United States: continuity and change. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones LV, Lindzey G, Coggeshall PE (1982a) An assessment of research-doctorate programs in the United States—mathematical & physical sciences. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones LV, Lindzey G, Coggeshall PE (1982b) An assessment of research-doctorate programs in the United States—biological sciences. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  19. Jones LV, Lindzey G, Coggeshall PE (1982c) An assessment of research-doctorate programs in the United States: engineering. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  20. Lin M-W, Bozeman B (2006) Researchers’ industry experience and productivity in university–industry research centers: a “scientific and technical human capital” explanation. J Technol Transf 31(2):269–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Link AN, Siegel DS, Bozeman B (2007) An empirical analysis of the propensity of academics to engage in informal university technology transfer. Ind Corp Change 16(4):641–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Long JS, Fox MF (1995) Scientific careers: universalism and particularism. Annu Rev Sociol 21(1):45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Long JS, McGinnis R (1981) Organizational context and scientific productivity. Am Sociol Rev 46(4):422–442CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Long JS, Allison PD, McGinnis R (1993) Rank advancement in academic careers: sex differences and the effects of productivity. Am Sociol Rev 58(5):703–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Merton R (1968) The Matthew effect in science. Science 159(3810):56–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Merton R (1973) The sociology of science: theoretical and empirical investigations. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  27. Merton R (1988) The matthew effect in science, II: cumulative advantage and the symbolism of intellectual property. Isis 79(4):606–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ponomariov B, Boardman C (2010) Influencing scientists’ collaboration and productivity patterns through new institutions: university research centers and scientific and technical human capital. Res Policy 39(5):613–624. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2010.02.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Roose KD, Anderson CJ (1970) A rating of graduate programs. American Council on Education, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. Santoro MD, Chakrabarti AK (1999) Building industry–university research centers: some strategic considerations. Int J Manage Rev 1(3):225–244. doi: 10.1111/1468-2370.00014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Santoro MD, Gopalakrishnan S (2001) Relationship dynamics between university research centers and industrial firms: their impact on technology transfer activities. J Technol Transf 26(1):163–171. doi: 10.1023/a:1007804816426 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Su X (2011) Postdoctoral training, departmental prestige and scientists’ research productivity. J Technol Transf 36(3):275–291. doi: 10.1007/s10961-009-9133-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Weeber S (2006) Elite versus mass sociology: an elaboration on Sociology’s Academic Caste System. Am Sociol 37(4):50–67. doi: 10.1007/bf02915067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zuckerman H (1970) Stratification in American science. Sociol Inq 40(2):235–257. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.1970.tb01010.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations