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January 3, 1972

Research Funding

JAMA. 1972;219(1):81-82. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190270051014

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For some years, I have been concerned with mechanisms by which federal funds appropriated in the name of research have been utilized in the support of academic science. Such funds have not only enriched our graduate and professional schools and created the world's greatest scientific capability, but have also been utilized to ensure the very operation of the university itself. They have been utilized to pay professorial salaries and graduate student stipends, build buildings and, through so-called "indirect cost payments" contribute to the salaries of university presidents, deans, purchasing agents and janitors. Little more than a third of all such funds are utilized for the classic purposes of a grant-in-aid—the consumable supplies and equipment, immediately related travel and publication costs, as well as the salaries of those engaged full time for the conduct of the research project itself. The other two thirds of the funds assure that the university will