“Sherriff of Nottingham” model doesn’t work, G5
David Currie, Biology Professor at UofOttawa, published a letter to the editor of Nature where he predicts the effects of concentrating research at a few select universities. Calling it the “Sherriff of Nottingham” model (taking money from the poor to give to the rich), he evaluates whether instituting a preferential funding model for the G5 universities would be likely to increase Canadian research output. Currie finds that research productivity and impact are directly related to research funding, but that the relationships are significantly decelerating. That is, when expressed per dollar invested, productivity and impact both decline as research funding increases.
Therefore, Currie suggests, we get a better “bang for the buck” at smaller universities, and higher overall productivity by spreading the research dollars around.