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Creating more room for research

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-11 07:57

The Ministry of Science and Technology and four other departments have introduced a guiding document aimed at cutting unnecessary workload of young scientific researchers so that they can devote more time and energy to doing research.

By the end of 2019, 78.39 percent of researchers in the field of science and technology were aged 39 or younger. It is fair to say that young researchers play a major role in China's technological innovations. However, while the number of young researchers is increasing, the pressure on them is also rising. In a survey of young researchers, conducted by the China Association for Science and Technology in 2018, 38.2 percent of respondents said they were concerned that young scientists faced limitations in career development; 48.4 percent believed their potential was not fully realized.

That is why the authorities have launched "reducing burden 3.0", a move aimed at enhancing their efficiencies, encouraging them to be more positive, and making the environment more friendly for young scientists and researchers.

The departments have two main focus areas. The first is to create more opportunities and provide more support to young scientists and researchers, who have complained about fierce competition and extreme pressure. The ministries are going to provide more stable funding to their programs and set diversified evaluation mechanisms for their performance. They will employ more assistants to take the load off senior scientists who can guide them while taking the lead in scientific research.

The second move is to reduce administrative work for young researchers, who have complained that complicated paperwork often takes up considerable time that they could have instead devoted to research. The document has made it clear that at least four-fifths of young scientists' time and energy should be devoted to scientific research.

The document introduced on Monday is only the start of a series of reforms to benefit young scientists. With one move after another to be introduced, young scientists will enjoy a better environment at work.

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