An institution's locale, reputation, and spirit can be as important as big budgets and elegant labs, researchers claim
Few academic scientists would disagree with the notion that the research prowess of a university depends to a great extent on how much money the school is willing to invest in its scientists and the material needs that their investigations entail. And few would deny that the impact of the research reports a school generates each year is one valid gauge of return on that investment and, thus, a means of assessing its position in the hierarchy of scientific powerhouses.

But, according to research scientists at major universities throughout the United States, there are several additional factors that, while defying quantification, nevertheless `contribute to and reflect a rich and fertile research environment. If such measurable or observable conditions as adequate funding and properly outfitted labs are prerequisite to high achievement, they say,...

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