Competitive System of Financing the Sciences Introduced

2019-02-07

In Armenia a new mechanism for financing scientific organizations will be invested based on performance results, and the concept of a scientific institution will be defined. Chairman of the State Committee of Science, Samvel Harutyunyan, announced the aforementioned, during a press conference in media hall “Armenpress”. He mentioned that financing  scientific organizations this way, was an accepted international practice and considered an effective example. “Financing of scientific organizations with the help of conduct is a very important tool. It will encourage competition between scientific organizations and will contribute to more motivated work between scientific institutes” mentioned Samvel Harutyunyan and added that, now, the appropriate order is validated  by the working group of the Ministry of Education and Science.

According to him, appropriate standards will be defined, based on which scientific institutions will receive points and will be classified. Specifically, the effectiveness of previous scientific research in institutions, the capacity of the personnel potential, the level of logistical support, the degree of integration in the international scientific and educational space, the commercialization of scientific results, the effectiveness of financial activity, the number of scientific publications, the number of citations will be taken into consideration. According to Samvel Harutyunyan, financing will be determined according to 4 categories: “In the first category, institutions, must show compatibility with the criteria of the International Scientific Center and besides basic financing, will also receive a bonus with the highest factor. The second-ranked institutions will also receive bonuses but lesser amount. In the third category there will only be basic financing and those scientific institutions, appearing in the fourth category will be combined with scientific institutions of the first and second categories, and the best employees will be  incorporated either in integrated centers, or in affiliated institutions.”­ mentioned Samvel Harutyunyan.

On the subject of finding basic financing for universities and scientific institutions with issues, Samvel Harutyunyan mentioned that during yesterday's session, the Government acted promptly. The problem was caused by the requirements of the RA Law on Funds. However, according to Samvel Harutyunyan, scientific foundations can’t be identified with the other foundations. The problem will be settled after the adoption of the new law on Higher Education, Scientific and Scientific Activity, where it is envisaged to define the concept of a scientific institution irrespective of the organizational-legal form. The Chairman of the Science Committee simultaneously expressed assurance that the works on the introduction of a competitive financial system will be completed in the nearest future, after the adoption of the relevant regulation, the transition to a new financing system will be made in 2020.

Reflecting on the issues, chairman of the State Committee of Science highlighted the system’s aging problem.

“Today we have a problem of aging science. The number of scientists over the age of 65 is about 25% of the total number of scientists. These numbers represent the Soviet Scientific Academic School,and the number of scholars of that age is gradually decreasing. Ten years later these figures will reduce more. We have a decline of scientists between the ages of 35 and 55, and this gap is not sufficiently closing. We will work hard in order to encourage young scholars and to create for them new, exciting situations.” mentioned Samvel Harutyunyan. According to him, today, there are 6200 scholars who are engaged in scientific activity and of those only 4500 are engaged in scientific activities and the rest is the service staff. According to the Chairman of the State Committee of Science, this is the minimum number for our country which should be increased. The Chairman of the State Committee of Science, Samvel Harutyunyan, has also presented the 2019 agenda at the press conference.

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