National Research Foundation may be established within a month

Національний фонд досліджень може бути створений протягом місяця

National Research Foundation may emerge within a month and may commence its work in the latter part of 2018.

National Research Foundation that will allocate funding for the scientific research on a competitive basis, may be established in the next 30 days.

This was reported to Innovation House by Nana Voitenko, Member of the Scientific Committee of the National Council for Science & Technology Development, following the results of the first meeting of the National Council that was held yesterday, on January 16. According to Nana Voitenko, the National Research Foundation may commence its work in the latter part of 2018, if several conditions are met. Most notably, the Scientific Committee shall elect the Foundation’s Council, the Verkhovna Rada shall amend the Law “On scientific and scientific and technical activities”. Nana Voitenko said that Alexander Spivakovsky, Head of Subcommittee on Higher Education Issues of the Verkhovna Rada, who was present at the meeting, said that the Verkhovna Rada is ready to vote for these amendments.

We recall that the National Council of Ukraine for Science & Technology Development is the new consultative and advisory body reporting to the Government that shall play a major role in relationship building between the science, power and the real economy. It consists of the Scientific Committee and Administrative Committee and is headed by the Prime Minister.

Pursuant to the Law “On scientific and scientific and technical activities” the National Research Foundation shall be one of the main administrators of budgetary funds for the scientific activities. It is expected that it will fund scientific projects that have passed the independent competitive selection process.

Moreover, the meeting of the National Council was focused on the issue of basic funding of scientific institutions (funding, aimed at maintenance of infrastructure, for instance, payment for utility services, as well as salaries of research institutions’ employees). Pursuant to the Law “On scientific and scientific and technical activities” the salary rate for the Junior Research Assistant shall be no less than the two average salaries throughout the industry as a whole. However, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine in November 2017 the average salary in the country amounted about UAH 7,500 ($262), while the salary of Junior Research Assistant, according to information announced at the meeting, is about UAH 5,000 ($175) for the institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and UAH 3,000 ($105) for higher education establishments.

Nana Voitenko said that Volodymyr Groysman has promised that scientific institutions will get basic funding to the extent necessary, provided that the Scientific Committee presents the real scheme to reform the science.

Yet another issue that was discussed by the National Council – basic funding of the science based on the state certification/attestation results. This means that there shall be some certification methodology of the scientific activity results of higher education establishments. As a result of such an assessment, decision will be made whether to allocate basic funding to a particular institution or not. The meeting of the National Council has charged the Ministry of Education and Science and the Scientific Committee with the refinement of certification methodology in the shortest time possible.

In general, Nana Voitenko has noted that the discussion on all issues considered during the meeting of the National Council was fruitful.