- third of grantees having received funding. Moreover, a large number of grantees report that they had continued their collaboration even without funding specifically intended for international collaboration.
- Have you and your colleague published any articles or made conference presentations? Any other results? This question prompts for specific outcomes as well as less quantifiable follow-on activities. Over one-half the respondents had publications.
Ms. Robbins then went on to point out some other benefits of the grant-funded projects. Some, such as publications, patents, and presentations, are easy to quantify. Other benefits seen in the evaluation include curriculum enrichment, involvement of graduate students and junior researchers in international activities, access to unpublished foreign data, and establishment of lasting individual and institutional linkages.
Finally, Ms. Robbins noted some trends that were evident in recent years in the grants programs.
- The number of female applicants and grantees was diminishing, which might be the result of budget cuts at foreign institutes affecting females first.
- As would be expected, there has been an increase in foreigners using the grants to emigrate to the United States. This can of course be considered positive or negative, depending on the perspective. The foreigner receives a stable job and vastly improved lifestyle and the U.S. host obtains a well-trained addition to his or her laboratory; both benefit from the emigration opportunities. In the larger picture, it is questionable as to whether such emigration is in the best interests of the United States or Russia. If some of these emigres return to Russia when it has restored its economy and started to rebuild its S&T capacity, the long stay abroad by the returnees could have real benefits for Russia.
- Regarding the duration of foreign visits, it is increasingly the case that good researchers from Russia and elsewhere cannot afford to be away from their laboratories for even 6 months. Grants programs such as COBASE might have to be flexible in splitting visits or using the model of another NRC program that allows back-and-forth visits by both the foreigner and the American over a longer period.
- Results from collaborative activities take time. Depending on the scientific field and the people involved, major results can be achieved in just several weeks or might take many years. Thus, program evaluations and measurements of success should not set rigid standards on duration and outcomes.