Professional Development Grants for motivating research staff

31 August 2018

Raymond Struyk, author of Improving Think Tank Management, writes about  Professional Development Grants to address high staff turnover and low productivity:

In contrast to monetary rewards, most think tanks have never really thought about intrinsic awards in a systematic way.This is unfortunate because the very nature of policy research suggests the primacy of factors driving satisfaction are intrinsic to the job.
Most think tank analysts receive their greatest personal rewards from doing high quality, policy relevant research that is recognized as such, and from successfully engaging with policy makers so that their work improves public policy and the lives of the people affected by it. Hence, an important question for the think tank manager becomes: How can the institution best facilitate high quality work and reinforce recognition for it, so that analysts are well-satisfied with their positions and, thus likely to continue to be productive and stay at the institute?

The text is drawn from consultation with three think tanks : the Urban Institute in Washington, the Results for Development Institute, also in Washington, and the Institute for Urban Economics in Moscow.

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