Follow up to the introduction of grant application fees

On the last post about the American Heart Association planning to introduce grant application fees next year, Glfadkt commented that:

... some groups (i.e American Diabetes Association) require those awarded grants to be members -- and the membership fee/dues cannot be paid from those grant funds.

I’ve seen this before with a couple of associations and foundations. And this raises an interesting point ... if grants are awarded to institutions, how can agencies mandate that PIs be members?

For example, it’s interesting to read through the American Diabetes Association’s Grant Stipulations Summary:

Award recipients must be members of the Association’s Professional Section.

All funds will be made payable to the Principal Investigator’s institution, not to the 
Principal Investigator.

While I understand the logic (support those who support the agency), aren’t these stipulations somewhat contradictory?

So who pays for the PI's membership to the association/foundation in order for the grant to be awarded? My institution refuses to pay for membership fees regardless of the source of the money (discretionary funds, startup account, intramural or extramural grants); thus, in this case the membership fee would have to come out of my own pocket. What's next? Am I to purchase consumables for the lab from my salary too?

And, for those who plan to apply for American Heart Association grants in the winter round, the question is twofold: (1) who will pay the AHA membership fee in order to submit grants for free and (2) if the PI refuses to pay the membership, who will pay for the grant submission?

9 responses so far

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Why the fuck won't your institution pay for membership fees? That's the dumbest damn thing I have ever heard. Do they want you to reduce your visibility and relevance? Do they also put a cap on how many pubs you can have in a year or do they just make you pay the pub fees yourself?

    • odyssey says:

      Mine won't pay for memberships either. It would be interesting to know how many institutions do...

      • proflikesubstance says:

        Wait, WUT? What if publication costs are less than half for members than non-members for a particular journal? Do you pay out of pocket to lessen the blow to your grant or do you just pay full price? This policy makes less than no sense.

  • feMOMhist says:

    having worked both as an academic assistant to recipients of AHA grants and as a humanities professor I have several reactions to this 1. med school profs often have "slush" funds of purely discretionary money that they use for dues and 2. in the humanities membership is often required for conference participation, but so far not for grants, which give our relative poverty vis a vis the sciences, is a dman good thing

  • Glfadkt says:

    Fortunately, we are allowed to use "slush funds" to pay society/association membership fees (which sometimes include a journal subscription, or require a journal subscription at added cost). Unfortunately, lack of grant funding usually means lack of slush funds, so grant submission fees become out-of- pocket expenses (along with the cost of attending scientific meetings). Ouch!

  • So it seems as though the AHA's new application fee will be $100 and it will apply to both PIs applying for grants as well as grad students applying for fellowships. They advertise that membership dues start from as low as $75. But for most faculty (like me) that price will be $250.

    Hmmm ... me paying $250 so that my institution doesn't have to fork out $100. Ummm ... no.

  • CRT says:

    The little red hen......and she did.