New government decision empowers scientists to conduct research

The inter-ministerial circular No 27 which took effect on February 15 is expected to make a breakthrough in scientific research as it allows scientists to take initiative in their work.

Scientists now have the right to decide what they will do and how they will use the money to conduct their research. The State only places orders and examine the results of the works.

If scientists’ research results cannot satisfy the requirements as demanded by the State, they will have to give back 40-100 percent of the fellowship granted by the State.

Scientists immediately supported the new policy. 

In the past, it took scientists a lot of time to follow administrative procedures and submit invoices and vouchers to get money disbursed. 

new government decision empowers scientists to conduct research hinh 0

But nowadays, under the new policy, they only need to focus on their research because they know they will receive money if their work can satisfy requirements set by the State.

Dang Kim Son, an agricultural expert, commented that drastic measures will help save money for authentic scientific research. 

It is estimated that VND3.5 trillion is spent every year on scientific research projects, but only 10 percent of them can be used in reality, while the other 90 percent have been put into mothballs after they were defended by the authors.

Nguyen Hong Phuong from the Institute of Geophysics commented the new circular would ‘make a revolution’ in scientific research, which would bring scientists an open environment, which is necessary for them to work.

According to Phuong, under the old policy, every scientist was given an amount of money and he needed to think of some research themes to spend the money. 

“Nowadays, we can focus on our favorite work – conducting research,” Phuong said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan commented: “Scientists now don’t have to try to tell lies anymore.”

However, though applauding the new policy, scientists admitted worries still exist.

An expert warned about the ‘bad debt boom’ once the new financial policy is applied, under which money will be disbursed to serve scientific research projects first and scientists will only give back money if they fail to implement the projects.

“Scientific research needs venture capital. No one can be sure if they can succeed in their works. What will happen if scientists spend all money and they cannot find what they want?” the expert asked. 

Quan himself also thinks that though this is an open policy, not all scientists can follow. It would be a challenge for scientists to calculate the total expenses needed to conduct research.

Tran Phat Dat, director of Quynh Nga Private Enterprise, said he wonders what the state would do if scientists don’t have money to pay back. 

Vietnamnet

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