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Complicated procedures, low budgets face scientists

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A leader from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology says the procedures for considering and approving state-level scientific research projects are too complicated.

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It's time consuming to get projects approved


“It is so complicated and time-consuming to get projects approved and budgets allocated,” a young researcher said. Foreign research teams can announce their research results more quickly.

Nguyen Phi Kim Phung from the HCM City University of Natural Sciences said that agencies tend to allocate budgets to research works by young PhDs who have “thin” scientific profiles with just a few internationally published articles, for fear that they may not fulfill the research on time.

Le Thanh Thao, MA, a former biology student at the HCM City University of Natural Sciences, who once worked for a research center at the HCM City Hi-tech Park, also said young researchers have difficulties because agencies don’t have confidence in them.

“The head of our research team failed to ask for funding for a project many times, just because the topic was unfamiliar,” Thao said.

“Vietnam is reluctant to fund new ideas for fear for risks,” she said.

Thao agreed that young scientists have to overcome difficulties to carry out their research. Citing a story about researchers who saw their work stolen, Thao said in other countries, patent registration offices work well, but in Vietnam the situation is different. 

"If this agency worked well in Vietnam, scientists would be protected and would feel secure about their research,” she said.

Nguyen Quang Thuan, chair of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, also said it is a long process from raising an idea and getting a budget for projects to carrying out research and transferring technology. 

In general, scientists have to make more efforts to explain to agencies what they will spend money on, and they also need more papers to describe spending on their research work.

Meanwhile, head of the Kinh Thanh Research Institute, Bui Minh Tri, pointed out a series of problems in the current budgeting scheme. Researchers and workers are paid based on the numbers of working days, and the wage has remained unchanged for many years.

When Tri and his co-workers carried out research in Kien Giang province, they hired local workers and paid VND300,000 to each for one working day. However, agencies pay only VND100,000.


Source: VietNamNet

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