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ERIC Number: ED469490
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Zipf's Law Revealed at Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions: Million Dollar and Thirty-Publication Faculty. Academic Excellence: A Study of the Role of Research in the Natural Sciences at Undergraduate Institutions. Special Report.
Doyle, Michael P.
Using grant and publication data from nearly 3,000 faculty members in the natural sciences at 133 predominantly undergraduate universities, this study investigated the characteristics of faculty who received $1,000,000 or more in external grant support during the 1990s. This selection required the faculty member to receive $100,000 annually through 10 years. As is consistent with Zipf's Law, (G. K. Zipf; the probability of an item starts high and then tapers off; a few occur very often, while others occur rarely) only about 51 of the 2,980 natural sciences faculty responding (1.7%) received these high grant amounts. The paper reports the relevant characteristics of rank, gender, and discipline for the high grant recipients. However, these million-dollar faculty do not provide a clear pattern of drawing students into science. A study of faculty members with 30 peer-reviewed publications, only 38 of 2,980, shows that these faculty also do not demonstrate a clear advantage in drawing students into science. Overall findings show that is the rare faculty member who chooses to conduct a significant research program that involves undergraduate students in meaningful ways. (SLD)
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Research Corp., Tucson, AZ.