Academic research organizations have on average more outdated equipment than universities, particularly with account of unique equipment renewal rates. Starting from 2007, academic institutions saw placement in operation of 26% of research equipment of the overall number of machines a given organization has vis--vis the universities’ 37%. In leading universities, unique equipment is located chiefly at research institutes under universities, which have a relatively autonomous status (this situation is characteristic of MSU, SPSU, Tomsk polytechnic university, the Southern federal university). That said, academic organizations have recently been more active than universities in modernizing of their unique equipment.
Berdaskevich A.P., Safaralieva S.G. Ob effektivnosti byudzhetnykh investitsiy v rossiyskuyu nauku//Innovatsii. 2010. ¹1. p.33.
Federal Act of 21 July 2005 ¹ 94-FZ “On placing orders on supplies of goods.
Gorbatova A. Zashli v tupik//Nauka i technologii Rossii. 21 October 2010. - URL: http://strf.ru/material.
aspxCatalogId=221&d_no=34423 Date of access: 07.02.2011.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks The equipment load rate was higher at academic institutions than at universities, which can be explained by the former’s more intense research activities vis--vis the universities’. At academic institutions, 40% of equipment is loaded at 91-100% relative to the nameplate full load, while the universities’ respective rate is 15%. Meanwhile, as much as 20% of unique equipment placed with academic institutions and 31% of unique equipment at universities is loaded at 50% and less (vs. the nameplate full load).
It is academic institutions and universities that remained major outsider users of unique equipment (accounting in total for 54% of all users). Meanwhile, the proportion of smallsized start-ups in the total number of users of unique equipment accounts for just 11%, which proves loose relations between science and business.
It is academic institutions that boast the highest average and absolute unique equipment effectiveness rates measured by the number of publications, conference presentations, patenting and licensing. However, the aggregate indicators are low. Thus, research findings resulted in granting licenses only at 0.05% of examined objects, while findings obtained using less than a half of the overall equipment stock were protected with patents.
In all, the research sector’s performance mirrors its state and ongoing processes therein.
Accordingly, Russia’s specific weight in the global flow of publications registered in Scopus database plunged from 2.22% in 2005 to 1.8% in 2009. By the level of citation rate Russia ranks 16th worldwide. When compared with the BRIC nations, Russia outpaces only Brazil (the 20th place worldwide), while trailing behind India (the 16th one) and hopelessly falling behind China (the 7th place). Russia’s publication policy, especially in the regions, is very poor. By contrast, facing a profound challenge of mastering the English language, Chinese researchers nonetheless literally bombard journals with their articles, thus bolstering changes for their publication. By contrast, Russian researchers often do not even dare try to prepare an article for a foreign journal. Plus, there is no training on the art of drafting a research paper in Russia, albeit there are strict rules in this regard.
To bolster the scientific sector, in 2010 the government promoted three main directions:
(1) assistance with furthering interaction with the Russian-language research expat community; (2) development of an organizational reform mechanism for the public research sector;
(3) support of university research and its promotion of its cooperation with business community.
5.5.2. Measures on Promotion of Interaction with Representatives of the Expat Community Support of research spearheaded by the Russian expat community The project “Conduct of research by teams headed by visiting researchers” is implemented in the frame of the Federal target program (FTP) “Scientific and scientific-pedagogical human resources of the innovation Russia” for 2009- 2013 (hereinafter referred to as Measure 1.5 (as enumerated in the list of measures under GTP). The federal budget funding is granted to research projects spearheaded by expat researchers, with a maximum volume of support of a 2- year long project making up no more than Rb. 2 mln. a year. During the project implementation period, the expat researcher’s physical contribution in research activities in Russia’s territory should make up no less than two months a year.
Social Sphere The first competition was held in 2009 and resulted in funding of 110 projects. The second competition was run in 2010 and by its results funding was made available for 125 projects.
The intensity of the competition proved fairly even – 3.4 applications per project in 2009 and 3.2 ones- in 20101. The selection resulted in 60% -plus of the winning entries being carried out at universities.
The competition was run on the basis of provisions stipulated in the law on public procurements, which is why the core selection criteria were price and project implementation timelines. As a result, instead of the ultimate Rb. 4 mln., the average value of a contract (for years) was Rb. 3.0 mln. in 2009 and 2.6 mln. in 2010. These are fairly moderate figures of reduction in the contract value when compared with other FTP’s measures. The requirement to have an expat project leader to some extent proved a quality criterion, and it partly cut off brazenly low-balling organizations.
Generalized data on expat project leaders failed to produce a clear understanding of whom research organizations had managed to sign up. Country-wise, the expat pattern proved insignificantly different from data of other competitions (including the geographic pattern of join publications). In 2009, as much as 64% of researchers came from the US, Germany and France, while in 2010 the proportion of these countries was 57%. As much as 52% of project leaders hold a second (Russian) passport2, thus facing no problems with obtaining Russian entry visa. Expat researchers basically tend to hold fairly prestigious positions- 49.6% of participants in Measure 1.5 are professors, 19.2% - heads of departments, chairs and laboratories, and 24% - research fellows; however, the visiting researchers’ scientific profile remained practically unknown. No citation index data was collected. There exists only information3 on expat project leaders’ publications in journals with the impact factor4, which showed that 89.6% of them have such publications. As for the other performance indicator- that is, patenting, it proved to be pretty low, with 67% of the total number of visiting researchers not ever authoring a patent.
So, the data collected with regard to Measure 1.5 failed to give a comprehensive answer to the question as to whom Russian research organizations have managed to sign up. Meanwhile, as objectives of Measure 1.5 were formulated fairly murky right from the beginning, there is no answer to the question as to whom specifically, and for what purpose, they would like to sign up. The Measure is currently losing its momentum – at least, the plans for 2011 no longer feature it. It has been replaced by a far more ambitious project on attraction the most renowned researchers.
Creation of new university laboratories led by prominent researchers Measures on attraction of leading researchers into Russian institutions of higher professional education were approved in 2010 by a special Government Resolution (of 09 April Here and below the source of qualitative data on measure 1. 5 is the national foundation for cadres training, which is the operator of this program Measure.
Only the 2009 data.
The data was collected only in 2010.
The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. Accordingly, a publication in the journal with a higher impact factor is considered to be more prestigious, as it gives a broad audience an opportunity to know the author’s paper.
RUSSIAN ECONOMY IN trends and outlooks 2010, ¹ 220). The ultimate objective of creation of research laboratories run by the best researchers from overseas is most likely to shape competition environment, boost the quality of research and the university research on the whole. Theoretically, this might give an extra fillip to the best academics’ migration to universities.
If successful, universities are entitled to Rb. 12 bln. in subsidies in 2010-2012. The plans comprise establishment of 80 laboratories, each entitled to up to Rb. 150 mln. (some USD 5mln.) in subsidies for three years – the amount unprecedented even by developed nations’ standards. The funds can be spent on purchases of new equipment, reagents, and other needs.
The only restriction is that labor compensations payable to the team and its leader may not exceed 60% of the grant’s amount. The most substantial condition is that the competition is open for the best researchers, regardless of their residence or job location, which means these can be both domestic researchers, expats, and foreign scientists alike. Their expertise is assessed by past achievements, including such formal indicators as the h-index1. Meanwhile, under the terms of the competition, a leading researcher is bound to work in the newly created laboratory for no less than 4 months a year starting from 2011.
The competition in question displayed a number of problematic aspects that had been evident yet prior to its start, which is why they appear particularly perilous from the perspective of the possibility to ensure an adequate return on the budget investments.
The main problems associated with the ideology of the competition are as follows:
1. Building a world-class laboratory is a daunting challenge, given a poor general university infrastructure (from the perspective of efficiency of equipment use, problems with human resources, including the shortage of auxiliary and other staff).
2. The requirement to be present im personae at the university laboratory for no less than months a year precluded a substantial number of leading foreign researchers from bidding, for they are not in a position to spare so much time on their work in Russia. The condition in question de facto constitutes a “pendulum migration” option, which back in the 1990s had been the way Russian researchers sought to increase their material level. This approach does not appear efficient enough from the perspective of attraction “crme of the crme”, and to some extent it is less appealing than the other two options – namely, a long-term contract implying a complete relocation to Russia for the lifetime of a respective contract or a flexible schedule of visits to the country coordinated with a university head, with no compulsory timeframe. That is why the best option might become creation of laboratories with “Western participation”, rather than establishment of the ones run by a visiting researcher.
3. Requirements to research outputs seem overly lax when compared with an extensive and fairly strict set of project and staff selection criteria and planned sizeable financial infu The h-index is an index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other people's publications. The index can also be applied to the productivity and impact of a group of scientists, such as a department or university or country. The index was suggested by Jorge E.
Hirsch, a physicist at UCSD, as a tool for determining researchers’' relative quality and is sometimes called the Hirsch index or Hirsch number. The index displays a proper accuracy only under comparison of researchers of the same field of science, as citation traditions differ across different branches of science. Like other bibliometric characteristics, the h-index is not strictly correlated with the researcher’s profile and performance, because of string of parameters that bias its value, including for example time that has elapsed from the moment the article was published (this is why young authors cannot enjoy a very high h-index).
Social Sphere sions in creation of laboratories (the researcher is required to publish at least one article or obtain at least one patent upon 18 months of his work). Meeting these requirements is no sweat working anywhere, too. For reference: in the US, researchers of national laboratories are bound to publish annually no less than three articles in peer-reviewed journals.
4. Uncertainty of prospects and a short time horizon of the budget support: the government has no plans (or they have not been made public) with regard to a further support of laboratories upon expiration of the three-year grant. Meanwhile, the term of financing effectively is two year (the year of 2010 cannot be considered a full-fledged year of funding, as the competition results were reckoned up only on 29 October 2010), which is not enough for launching and fine-tuning a research laboratory’s efficient operations. Worldwide, the respective timeline is in the region of 5 years (eg the “standard” practiced by the National Institutes of Health in the US).
Huge funding proved very attractive to prospective applicants – shortly after the RF Ministry of Education and Science voiced the intent to award 80 grants, the competition level became 6 applications per grant, i.e. twice as many “average nationwide” Russian foundations’ grant competitions and ministries’ tenders. However, having assessed the applications, the decision was made to award only 40 grants and to hold another competition in early 20111.