The first round of 200 Future Fellowships has been announced (full list here), for funding starting in 2009. One thing that struck me was the paucity of economists, with just two making the cut (congratulations to health economist Anthony Scott and Bayesian econometrician Gael Martin).* Here are the stats by discipline (more breakdowns here):


While the overall acceptance rate was 20.5%, the rate in economics was just 10%. The best theory I can come up with is that the FF salaries look differentially attractive depending on your discipline. For example, Step 3 researchers are expected to have 10-15 years’ research experience, be recognised internationally, and make outstanding contributions to research. Yet at $135k, the FF amount is below the bottom rung of professorial salaries at many universities. Thus the fellowships look most attractive to disciplines where promotion rates are slow, because outside options are poor (eg. philosophy, anthropology), and less attractive in disciplines where the promotion rates are more rapid (eg. accounting, finance).

Still, this theory doesn’t explain why medicine did so well… so perhaps I need some alternatives. Any suggestions?

xposted @ CoreEconomics

* In case you’re thinking sour grapes, I was ineligible to apply for the FFs, since you needed to have received a PhD between 1993 and 2003.

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2 Responses to F-F-Funding

  1. conrad says:

    Another alternative is that it’s hard to set up big labs with lots of collaborators in some areas (e.g., 20 PhD students and a few industry/government) partners. I think that was stressed in the funding documents. It would be handy to look at how many of the people that got them are working in big labs with lots of students and other groups versus those people that still manage to do really smart stuff by themselves or with a small number of other people.

  2. Tim says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Serious… Your probably one of our most prominent economists… Yet your ineligible because of when you earned your PhD????

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