Popp’s work on government research support funded by Sloan Foundation
David Popp, professor of public administration
and international affairs and Caroline Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public
Administration and Policy, has been awarded a $349,380 grant by the Alfred P.
Sloan Foundation. His research project is titled “Does Government Funding
Change What You Do? The Effects of Funding on the Direction and Impact of
Academic Energy Research.” For it he is joined by Daniel Acuna, an assistant
professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.
Popp’s research will examine how government
funding influences the direction of clean energy research, focusing on whether
increased government spending attracts more researchers to the field, or merely
substitutes for other funding sources within the field. Using machine learning,
his interdisciplinary team will combine textual and regression analyses to answer three questions: (1) Do scientists
change the focus of their research in response to targeted government funding
opportunities?(2) If so, what types of calls for funding best attract
new researchers? (3) Do researchers new to a field contribute novel ideas? Do
they produce more highly cited research?
Popp, who is also a senior research associate
in the Center for Policy Research, specializes in environmental economics and
the economics of technological change. His work, which has been funded by,
among others, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science
Foundation, has been published in journals including American Economic Review, Journal
of Environmental Economics and Management, and Nature Energy.