Nowadays to obtain a PhD or a postdoc one needs to conduct independent research and present new results. However, at the frontiers of science there are many non-research related things that could still be done which are not being done by the professors since it would take a lot of time - examples include writing textbooks, translating a classical reference from one language to another (in some areas the classical reference is not available in English, for example), writing websites or programs which could assist one in learning the material.
I was wondering if there are any funding opportunities or academic grants available to hire a student/PhD/postdoc for those sort of projects. To me it would make sense to give such a job to a student rather than a researcher, as a student is learning that material anyway (and so can on his way adapt it so that the next generation can benefit from it) and it doesn't force the researcher to abandon research in favour of writing a textbook for a couple of years.
Paragraph removed by Dirk's suggestion