Maurice Ling's Professional Portfolio - Research Portfolio

                    Returns on Grants: Benchmark of R&D Output


In the citation for Barbara McClintock's Nobel Prize, Professor Ringertz of Karolinska Institute said the following to Dr. McClintock, "your work is encouraging because it shows that great discoveries can still be made with simple tools." I am a proponent of good stewardship of R&D grants as a large part of it are public funds. As an academic, I will want my students to leave me with a strong concept that R&D dollars is a privilege. However, there is no real measure and benchmark of R&D output. Hence, I am adapting the concept of "Returns on Equity" and "Returns on Investment" to measure my own efficiency in using grants, naming it "Returns on Grants" or ROG.

Grants comprises of the total amount of money I am given for research and development activities. ROG will then be the quotient of grants less allowable deductions (accessible grant) and the number of manuscripts produced.

The allowable deductions are:

  • Salary and Stipend. If any salary (for staffs) or stipend (for students) comes from the grant, the salary or stipend can be deducted from the grant provided a peer-reviewed manuscript from the personnel is accepted within 2 years of the funding period, up to a limit of $25000 per personnel/year and only 1 deduction/year/personnel. Each peer-reviewed manuscript can only be used for 1 deduction.
  • Equipment. 90% of equipments shared by different R&D groups (common equipments) and 80% of other equipments can be deducted.
  • Patents. 30% of cost, up to $25000, incurred in the filing process of each patent may be deducted. The rest should be offset by revenue derived from the patent.
  • Publication cost. Any cost related to publications can be deducted.

Number of manuscripts equivalents are computed as follow: Each peer-reviewed manuscript is considered as one manuscript. Each book (monograph or collection) is 0.6 manuscript. Each book chapter (both peer-reviewed and un-reviewed) is 0.3 manuscript. Each technical report, R&D-based un-reviewed manuscript, abstract, poster and talk is 0.1 manuscript.

Hence, my Return on Grants is calculated to be $7361 per manuscript equivalent. Details are as follows:

Grants
(calculated in Singapore Dollars)
Grant Deductions Accessible Grant
2004-2008: Own Ph.D grant ($15000 for research, $100000 for stipend) $115000 $75000 (3 manuscripts in 2007 [4], 2008 [5], 2009 [11]), $20000 (1 manuscript in 2010 [12]) $20000
2008: Internship for CyNote 1 $3200 $1600 (allowance for 1 intern [13]) $1600
2009: MOE SMP (1.5 projects) $750
$750
2009: 1 DBT Final Year Project $4660 $840 (cost of micropipetters = $1050) $3820
2009: 1 SNHP Project $350
$350
2010: MOE SMP (1 project) $500
$500
2010: 2 DBT Final Year Projects $8000 Note: $3500 allocated for general use. $8000
2010: 2 SNHP Projects $700
$700
2011: MOE SMP (1 project) $500
$500
2011: EBD Grant (paying half of my salary in Life Technologies) $37700 $25000 (1 manuscript in 2011 [21]) $12700
2012: NIH Grant (87.5% of salary) $45500 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2012 [27]) $20500
2013: Institutional Grant (SCBE, NTU) (100% of salary) $61100 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2013 [36]) $36100
2014: MOE Grant (100% of salary) $61100 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2014 [45]) $36100
2015: NEWRI Grant (100% of salary) $55900 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2015 [48]) $30900
2015: iJAM Grant (to AdvanceSyn Pte Ltd) $50000 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2016 [49]) $25000
2016: NEWRI Grant (100% of salary) $55900 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2016 [50]) $30900
2016: SPRING Proof-of-Concept Grant (to AdvanceSyn Pte Ltd; 10 of 12 months) $208300 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2016 [51]) $183300
2017: SPRING Proof-of-Concept Grant (to AdvanceSyn Pte Ltd; 02 of 12 months) $41600 $25000  (1 manuscript in 2016 [52]) $16600

Total:

$750760 $322400 $428360

Number of manuscripts equivalents = 58.2 comprising of
Type of Publication Count Manuscript Equivalents
Peer-reviewed manuscripts 52 52
Books (monographs and collections) 3 1.8
Peer-reviewed book chapter 3
0.9
Un-reviewed book chapter 0 0
Technical reports 15 1.5
Posters 7 0.7
Abstracts and R&D-based un-reviewed manuscripts 6
0.6
Talks 7
0.7

Total:

93 58.2