Board to advise on research policy

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 3

The Ministry of Science and Technology yesterday said that it is to convene an advisory board meeting with academic representatives in October, after drawing fire from academic groups for its funding allocation and new policy for postdoctoral researchers.

The meeting would be convened based on the advice of Academia Sinica’s academics, who during their biennial convocation in July urged the ministry to review its policies for technological development, postdoctoral researchers and funding for basic research, the ministry said.

The ministry was criticized by more than 20 academic societies after it announced on July 31 that it would, starting today, limit funding for postdoctoral researchers to a maximum of six years and the number of postdocs for each research project to one.

The rule might deal a heavy blow to domestic research, which has already had its funding for basic research decreased, the societies said.

The advisory board would be made up of 17 or 25 members who are to serve for two years, with Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) and Academia Sinica president James Liao (廖俊智) serving as its joint conveners, Department of Planning Director-General James Lin (林廣宏) said.

The ministry would first invite academic representatives to serve as board members, given that the October meeting is to revolve around academic issues, but certain vacancies on the board would be left for industrial representatives, he said.

Prior to the October meeting, the ministry’s four major academic departments — natural sciences, engineering and technology, life sciences, and humanities and social sciences — would gather opinions from department researchers to narrow down the agenda, he added.

The new postdoctoral policies would be postponed until it has gathered opinions from the advisory board, the ministry said.

Control Yuan member Peter Chang (張武修) on Monday said he would launch an investigation into the ministry’s funding allocation and talent-related policies.