Doctoral candidate Jooho Lee successfully defended her dissertation, "Using Grant Applications to Measure the Evolution of Collaborative and Non-Collaborative Research," on September 21. Her committee included Associate Professor Catherine Blake; Professor Michael Twidale; Assistant Professor Peter Darch; Adjunct Professor Catherine Carpenter, UCLA; and Assistant Professor Bridget McInnes, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Abstract: In the science disciplines, grant funding is critical for advancement, and government research funding agencies actively encourage collaborative work, supporting thousands of research projects in the areas of science. While large-scale data have been analyzed to discover patterns of collaboration among whole populations and specific disciplinary groups, we still have much to learn about how collaboration affects an individual's scientific progress. A key goal of this study is understanding similarities and differences of collaborative and non-collaborative projects in grant applications with a novel approach of semantic similarity. This study also provides fine-grain analysis of grants by examining how the grant evolves over the grant cycle of a grant project. The findings on this study indicate that once PIs start to collaborate, more than half of them keep collaborating on their next projects. In year-to-year progression of projects, grant applications in general shows no change within a grant cycle, and the tendency of no movement is exhibited regardless of collaboration status. The conclusion of the study connects insights from this work with the research in studying larger timeframes of grant applications to increase an understanding of the evolution in collaboration.