This question seems very straightforward to me: do professors get any financial "rewards" for winning grants? It seems like OP was wondering whether this explained why professors (who already have tenured, relatively well-paid positions) spent so much time applying for and executing grants.

Why was this closed? It looks like there were three votes for "details or clarity" and two votes for "too broad."

  • I don't understand the complaints about details/clarity at all; the question seems perfectly clear to me.
  • The "too broad" complaint makes a bit more sense, since the question does also ask if the same logic would apply to industry researchers. But this seems like a matter that can be resolved with a quick edit rather than closure.

I propose we reopen this question, and moving forward, I would encourage people to only vote to close if the question is truly unsalvageable. But maybe I am missing something -- other thoughts?

Update: Appreciate the discussion. Some good points on both sides, so we'll let the normal voting process play out rather than making a binding decision here. Five users (myself included) have now voted to reopen, so the question is open for now -- but it remains eligible to be re-closed by voting in the usual way.

  • 4
    I asked a number of clarifying comments trying to understand what OP meant by "monetary benefits," which I don't think is "perfectly clear" at all. I only ever got a response from Jochen, who is not the OP. Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 15:48
  • In fact, I'm not sure I'd agree with your interpretation of the Q (as written), although it could have been what OP meant. Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 15:49
  • Yes, looking at the timeline, it seems like the question was a bit less clear before revision #5, which was submitted (by the OP) about a day ago. Perhaps some of the votes-to-close were submitted before that revision.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 16:54
  • 1
    Yes, I VTC'd on the first revision, I remember seeing the edit changing "business" to "busyness." I still think it's not clear enough to reopen - even though OP has logged in since. Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 16:57
  • @cag51 You allege that there were "some good points on both sides" and yet I do not see any points made on this page in support of opening the question, other than your own suggestion that the question might be salvageable. Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 2:56
  • 2
    Yes, the good points on the pro-reopening side that I referred to were my own. But in deference to the good points on the other side, I deliberately did not use any mod superpowers while handling this matter; the only actions I took (opening a meta question, commenting, adding a fifth reopen vote) are actions that any user with enough rep could take. As such, I do not intend to seek validation of these actions from you.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


The answer depends on the funder, and potentially also on the university or individual employee's contract. Therefore, the question could be closed as either lacking details of those things, or as strongly depending on individual circumstances.

As written now, the answer should be "Yes, but the details vary." That's not a helpful answer.

The comments on a professor's behavior didn't belong in the question.


The question, even in its current form, is asking us to give insight into why somebody has made certain life choices that the OP deems inadvisable or incorrect. It invites uninformed speculation into whether or not monetary gain may explain that person's behavior. Since such choices are seen across all employment areas that I have encountered, it is not specific to academia.

  • 4
    Appreciate the response and insight. Personally, I disagree -- the current version says "Do research professors earn additional money from externally funded projects apart from the salary from the universities?" This seems like a very neutral, academia-specific query to me. But, from your response and Azor's, it seems like the voting system is working as it should.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 22:32
  • @cag51 - remove the first two paragraphs, as well as the last, and there is a simple question there. The first two paragraphs are decidedly non-neutral and non-academia-specific.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 22:35
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    Well, it is far from unusual that a question would have a general, specific-to-one-person backstory coupled with a legitimate question. If we closed every question that had (arguably) superfluous paragraphs, there wouldn't be a whole lot left on our site. But I respect the difference of opinion.
    – cag51 Mod
    Commented Mar 4, 2022 at 22:42
  • @cag51 I do downvote for unnecessary paragraphs pretty often. Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 2:32

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