Устранить бюрократический барьер к научной деятельности в России

Федеральный закон 94, известный как "Закон о госзакупках" - одно из основных препятствий для научной работы в России. Благодаря этому закону ученый, даже получивший конкурсное финансирование, не может купить те приборы и реактивы, которые ему нужны, и тогда, когда они нужны. В нынешнем виде ФЗ-94 парализует российскую науку.

Russia’s young researchers petition the President of Russia

We, a group of Russia’s researchers aged under 40, petition the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev to urgently solve the bureaucratic problems that make efficient scientific research in Russia next to impossible. Specifically, many of the issues are associated with the Federal Law 94 which regulates governmental spending. Some of the implications of this law and the related regulations are as follows:

- when purchasing scientific equipment, reagents, etc., researchers have to buy from the company which sells at the lowest cost, disregarding the quality of the product;

- the amount of paperwork associated with even the simplest purchases is prohibitive. Given the lack of adequate support infrastructure in most of the universities and research institutes, most of the paperwork has to be done by the researchers themselves;

- the minimal time lag between a piece of equipment or a reagent is requested and is obtained is 3-6 months;

- when a governmental granting body provides research funding, the individual or organization who requested the lowest amount of funding frequently receives it, without regard to the quality of the research proposal;

- under many types of grant competitions, a single institution (university or research institute) is not allowed to win more than one grant from a broad category, e.g. “biology” or “computer science”.

These regulations indiscriminately affect all kinds of purchases made by federal institutions, which is where most of the basic research is done in Russia. In particular, they apply even when the funding was obtained through a highly competitive granting process.

In combination with other logistic problems (e.g., huge customs delays, poor postal service, complicated taxation, etc.) and the low overall amount of research funding in Russia, these problems make the burden of doing any kind of resource-intensive science in Russia insurmountable. These issues particularly affect the scientists early in their careers, who lack the access to administrative resources and the non-competitive sources of funding. If the current situation remains unchanged, it will lead to a new round of brain drain. This time, Russia’s science may not survive it.

The text of the petition (in Russian) and the signature submission form are available at http://science94.narod.ru/

As of March 6, 2011, the petition was signed by over 2000 researchers.

1. Если Вы - молодой (до 40 лет) учёный, работающий в России - подпишите открытое письмо Медведеву: http://moloduch-anti-94fz.narod2.ru/