About academic competition and network effects

It’s extremely hard for a small research team to compete against huge labs. It’s a question of network effects; the huge labs have the critical mass of funding, collaborators, momentum, and publication pull to attract the best talent, whether the brightest PhD students or the best post-docs. The rest are left with the “scraps”. Seems cold to say so, but academia is just like any other environment: many have PhDs but only a few select are able to publish in the top venues, year after year. And those people are more and more centralized to the top institutions. For a research institution, the choice is pretty clear: either focus on building a critical mass of talent (i.e., big enough teams with big enough funding) or face institutional decline. #research #strategy #competition #talent