It is not a secret that the problem of reproduction of qualified personnel is very acute in Russia and it is almost the main headache for our science. How to raise a worthy generation of researchers and to ensure that the best of them remained in the scientific community after graduation? The participants of round table, organized jointly by Lomonosov MSU Faculty of global processes and STRF.ru, tried to look at this problem having torn funding out of the context.
The scientists are "piece goods" directly affecting the amount of research, publications and ultimately the results, the quality of scientific research. Unfortunately, Russia fall behind the leading countries with this indicator (if there are an average of 8-12 researchers for every 1000 people employed in the economy in the most developed countries, we have a little more than 6 of them). In addition, "paucity of generation of the 1990s now comes to professionally active age in Russia, and it has not been awaited the growth of the influx of young professionals till the beginning of the 2020s" - Alexei Andreev, Ph.D., Deputy Dean of Moscow State University Faculty of global processes, said.
How to attract the younger generation to the science? Of course, the schooling plays a huge role. Graduates of the category of schools where teachers inspire children to private small openings, better succeed in research teams. In this regard, the roundtable participants identified two areas of activity. Firstly, it is the involving of charismatic scientists, who has already achieved a lot, in teaching in schools.
"Its necessary to "infect" the children with science. No one will manage it like the people who have dedicated themselves to this cause",
- Andreev believes.
The second direction is connected with career counseling of the students. "It is clear that in 16-17 years, students are not fully independent in choosing a profession. They do it under the influence of parents, society or stereotypes", - Fedor Strygin, the chief expert of the Department of involvement of young people in the social policy of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, said. The roundtable participants believe: it is necessary to develop a system of vocational guidance, to acquaint young people with the existing specialties and directions, so that they find their niche and clearly aims as early as its possible.
The combination of these measures should ensure a flow of relevant staff not only to science, but to solve the personnel problem in general.
It is necessary to take into account regional specifics as the Russian territory is developed very unevenly. According to research conducted at MSU, the regions most favorable for the youth are the regions of Central Russia, while young people in the North, the Far East and Siberia often do not find "their place".
There are two categories of novice scientists: some go into science for the sake of money, others - by vocation, and there are more of the second ones. But the desire to "change the world" in the end has still been often limited by lack of decent wages and force people to change the scope of activities.
In Russia, the state has traditionally been the main customer of the scientific researches. But in a crisis its impossible to rely on significant government support. And is it necessary? More and more companies consciously form a request for one or another innovation now. Consequently,
the establishment of communications between the customers of innovations (in which role can act both the private and public sector of the economy) and their manufacturers - research teams and individual experts - should be one of the priorities.
The interaction can be implemented in a format of database of universities students and graduates, to which companies would have an access. Similar projects are being developed at Moscow State University and the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs.
In addition to the financial problems this interaction gives scientists the extra motivation, Andreev stressed. After all, if a person has to realize that his research is not only interesting to him personally, but also useful for the society, he will work with a much greater impact.
The research team is no less important.
"To stay in science, a young scientists needs in addition to money to understand that he can grow here, he will be allowed to do it",
- Vera Ville, a graduate student of N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, introduced the "look from the inside". And the collective as a whole plays especially important role in it. As it is noted by Alexander Terentyev, Doctor of Chemical Sciences, head of the laboratory of studies of homologous reactions of RAS N.D. Zelinsky IOC, the laboratory should accumulate "a critical mass of young people" - 3-4 people who will be able to freely exchange the ideas, for whom it will be interesting to work together.
It is important that there would be presented all ages in the laboratory: "In the words of one of the great scientists, when there only old men in the science - it is a tragedy, when there only youth it is a comedy", - Andreev summed up.
A team is made efficient by proactive and energetic leader who becomes the center of attraction for similar initiative scientists. It is necessary to establish a pool of people willing to take this function on themselves, the participants of the round table concluded. If such a function is performed by postdoctoral fellows program abroad, there is an alternative program in the Russia - the creation of a personnel reserve of FANO. "Maybe you need a large-scale project on the identification and appointment the ambitious and young scientists to senior positions of the projects to reverse the situation", - Andreev said.
Thus, our country needs a slender and verified policy on education of scientific personnel, beginning from school and ending with the establishment of a personnel reserve. Only carefully "growing" every man, Russia can maintain its position and survive the impending "demographic pit", the roundtable participants summarized.