What are the factors affecting university researchers in their decision to choose one type of funding source over the other? One such factor is the perceptions of individuals toward the costs and the rewards that are associated with the collaboration. Therefore, it was hypothesized that when researchers maintain low level of dependency on external support, they will tend to prefer the collaboration with a funding source which is perceived to provide most rewards and least costs among all sources. Faculty at five doctoral universities in the USA responded to a mailed questionnaire. The results suggested that most of those who regarded a specific funding source as providing the most rewards or the least costs preferred this source. The paper discusses the implications of the findings, and the role of the federal government as the major funding source amongst all sources.