Reframing entrepreneurship for early-career researchers

Last registered on September 20, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Reframing entrepreneurship for early-career researchers
Initial registration date
September 15, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 20, 2023, 10:30 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Stuttgart

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Stuttgart
PI Affiliation
University of Stuttgart

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
Early-career researchers (ECRs - PhDs and Post-docs) hold the potential to transform scientific advances into impactful new ventures. However, the prevalent restrictive framing of entrepreneurship as an individual behavior with a monetary reward narrows its appeal to an already preselected profile of a researcher with a preference for economic impact.

In this experiment, we aim to achieve three objectives: 1) establish and measure the effect size of a broader view - focused on impact - of entrepreneurship for ECRs, 2) establish to what extent the perception of entrepreneurship as an individual behavior has a similar restrictive effect, 3a) identify to what extent these alternative framings helps us to activate preferences from researchers across distinct scientific disciplines and research communities, and 3b) understand how individual characteristics, such as identity, growth mindset, or impulsivity help us to understand this differences.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Giones, Ferran, Andreas Wahl and Mia-Celine Zsohar. 2023. "Reframing entrepreneurship for early-career researchers." AEA RCT Registry. September 20.
Experimental Details


We use two interrelated framing interventions.
1) email content manipulation, where participants receive an invitation to be informed about a training program.
2) landing page that presents information about the program, with alternative framing and a registration button to receive further information.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We want to understand the effect size of a broader, collaborative - impact-focused - framing of entrepreneurship by capturing their preference for this condition instead of the current individual and narrower representation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Rising awareness of entrepreneurship as a career option for those currently in a scientific career.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
1) email content manipulation, with stratified randomization - by department/institute. Individuals receive information that describes the training program as the beginning of a journey towards commercialization of science (business as usual), and the other subjects receive information that portrays the program as a a program to make an impact with their research (treatment), it has a broad understanding of entrepreneurship with a focus on impact. We will be distributing the email to the sample, tracking their response (opt-in), controlling the message they received. We will also send a questionnaire to identify their entrepreneurial identity (Sieger et al. 2016 JBV), their growth mindset (Schmitt 2022), and impulsivity (Barratt 1994) and essential descriptive data of the individual.
2) Correspondance intervention, we will be using different texts in a landing page, with more information about the program. Presenting entrepreneurship as a) an individual behavior (business as usual) suggesting a match with what makes also science and research work successful; or as b) a collaborative behavior (treatment), where tasks and activities have to be shared with a group of people, suggesting that this is also the case in succesful scientific projects.

In both cases, we are running a stratified randomization (50%/50% for every condition) inside each institute/department.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer, balanced weights, 50%.
Randomization Unit
Randomization (stratified) planned by institute (group-level cluster).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 institutes
Sample size: planned number of observations
2300 early-career researchers (PhD students and Post-docs)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We expect an equal distribution - 50% of the planned number of individual participants (max. 1000) in each arm for the interventions.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
In the email manipulation and landing page, we will be using the "more information" or "keep me updated" response as the main outcome. Based on similar types of treatments (see Guzmann, Oh & Sen 2020 - MS), and the first version of this experiment run in 2022, we expect to see a 25%-30% difference between the economic and social/impact framing of the program. Also for the individual vs. collective framing. This is because we have increased the text distinctiveness (calculating the cosine similarity), and believe that our treatment is now stronger that in the version of 2022. As in both interventions, it is only an "opt-in" to get more information or stay updated, we anticipate an incidence of 15% for the business-as-usual conditions and a 25% for the treatment conditions. With a Power of 0.8 and an Alpha of 0.05, we should reach at least 500 individuals (250 for each condition). Using the estimation tool developed by Rosner B. Fundamentals of Biostatistics. 7th ed. Boston, MA: Brooks/Cole; 2011.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Komission Verantwortung in der Forschung - Uni Stuttgart
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Az. 22-040


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials