Researchers are spending an increasing fraction of their work time on applying for funding. The overarching rationale behind competitive funding schemes is to allocate finite resources in a way that enables the most innovative and productive research. Thus, at first glance any funding initiative that provides such resources seems beneficial to society by supporting scientific activities. On the other hand, writing proposals reduces the time available for research, which, in case of publicly-funded researchers, is what society is paying researchers for. Since the funding system should work in a way that benefits both individual researchers and society, it is worth having a critical look at its efficiency.

This Online Calculator complements our article "Why many funding schemes harm rather than support research" (Nature Human Behaviour, 02/2022).

How much time should I invest in my proposal?

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