(VNS) Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan spoke to Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper about proposed measures to increase financial incentives for research and development.
Tell us about the ministry's new policy to pay researchers for the end-product of their work.
Under previous financial mechanisms, scientists were required to go through a time-consuming process of submitting receipts and invoices to show how much they spent on their research.
Under the new policy, when a scientists submits the final results of a research project which meets regulated criteria, their work will be compensated without any receipts.
In other words, once a specific study has been approved for State funding, the money will be paid to the scientists in charge of the study, who will then be held responsible for their use of State budget funds.
When the work product is finished, there will be a council to review whether it has met the criteria as committed, at which time the researchers are deemed to have completed their tasks and there is no additional time needed to document and reimburse expenses.
This means the State pays for the research under a negotiated price and essentially buys the work product as negotiated.
This method has been applied in many countries under international convention.
What else will be done to remove financial obstacles to research?
The ministry will propose that the Government devise special incentive policies for scientists, with priorities given to three groups: leading scientists, scientists assigned to national projects, and young talent.
The incentives would include the best working environments such as the use of key national laboratories, as well as State sponsorship, the ability to negotiate proper compensation for members of their research teams, and support to participate in international workshops and meetings.
The Government would also purchase books, documents, designs and new technology that serves their work.
In general, the State will create conditions for scientists to turn out the best scientific and technical work product.
When will these policies be put into place?
It depends on when the revised Law on Science and Technology is passed by the National Assembly. On that basis, we will be able to work out directives or guidelines for particular cases. — VNS