Misty L. Heggeness

U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliations: U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2020Administrative Discretion in Scientific Funding: Evidence from a Prestigious Postdoctoral Training Program
with Donna K. Ginther: w26841
The scientific community is engaged in an active debate on the value of its peer-review system. Does peer review actually serve the role we envision for it—that of helping government agencies predict what ideas have the best chance of contributing to scientific advancement? Many federal agencies use a two-step review process that includes programmatic discretion in selecting awards. This process allows us to determine whether success in a future independent scientific-research career is more accurately predicted by peer-review recommendations or discretion by program staff and institute leaders. Using data from a prestigious training program at the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), we provide evidence on the efficacy of peer...

Published: Donna K. Ginther & Misty L. Heggeness, 2020. "Administrative discretion in scientific funding: Evidence from a prestigious postdoctoral training program✰," Research Policy, vol 49(4).

July 2019Long-term Effects from Early Exposure to Research: Evidence from the NIH "Yellow Berets''
with Pierre Azoulay, Wesley H. Greenblatt: w26069
Can a relatively short but intense exposure to frontier research alter the career trajectories of potential innovators? To answer this question, we study the careers and productivity of 3,075 medical school graduates who applied to the Associate Training Programs (ATP) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) during the turbulent period of the Vietnam War, 1965- 1975. Carefully selecting on observables, we compare physicians who attended the program to those who passed a first admission screen but were ultimately not selected. We find that program participants were twice as likely to choose a research-focused position after training, and considerably less likely to switch to purely clinical endeavors as their careers unfolded. Over the life cycle, NIH trainees also garnered publications,...
April 2018The Impact of Postdoctoral Fellowships on a Future Independent Career in Federally Funded Biomedical Research
with Donna K. Ginther, Maria I. Larenas, Frances D. Carter-Johnson: w24508
The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) program is a major research training program administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with funds appropriated each year by Congress. This study examines the impact of NRSA postdoctoral fellowships on subsequent research-related career outcomes using NIH administrative records on applicants who applied for a fellowship between 1996 and 2008. We find that postdoctoral fellowships increased the probability of receiving subsequent NIH research awards from 6.3 to 8.2 percentage points and of achieving an NIH-funded R01 award, an indication of an independent research career, from 4.6 to 6.1 percentage points. Our findings demonstrate that the NRSA postdoctoral fellowship awards have the potential to promote retention...
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