China’s State Council published a document on improving the management of centrally funded scientific research projects. Some key elements of the document are summarized in this post.
Re-organisation of the different research funding programs
- Science & technology programs administered by different ministries shall be optimized and integrated. Programs with unclear positioning, duplication and overlapping or ineffective performance, shall be adjusted, eliminated, integrated or transformed.
- Major projects should reflect national objectives. For those major research projects related to national strategic demand and long-term development, resources should be pooled to concentrate on significant issues and key breakthroughs.
- Project administration authorities shall publish project guidelines at a fixed time on a yearly basis.
- The period between the date of publication and the deadline for project submission shall in principle not be less than 50 days.
Promote peer-review as the main evaluation system
- Optimize fair and competitive selection mechanism; decide project undertakers through open selection.
- Project evaluation should mainly adopt peer review. Overseas high-level experts shall be invited to participate.
Strengthen the researchers’ position
- Support to young researchers shall be reinforced.
- Income policy for researchers shall be optimised, and distribution incentive mechanisms should be closely linked with their position responsibilities, work performance, and practical contributions.
- Researchers’ mobility mechanism should be strengthened.
- Project packaging and “forced partnering” should be put to an end.
Reinforce the role of enterprises and focus on innovation
- Enterprises should be the main player in the market-oriented projects. Boundaries between government and market should be clarified.
- The proportion of experts from enterprises in evaluation for market-oriented projects should be increased.
- Basic and frontier research projects should be targeted at original (indigenous) innovation.
- Research institutes and universities are encouraged in talent exchange with enterprises.
Source (Chinese only): gov.cn