"Untie" scientific research personnel, create boost for innovation-the Ministry of Finance explains in detail the new changes in the management of scientific research funding from the central government

  Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, August 19 -

Question: is urging researchers to create "relaxed" innovation - the Ministry of Finance explain the new changes in the central government research funds management

  Xinhua News Agency reporter Shen Cheng

  The General Office of the State Council recently issued the "Several Opinions on Reforming and Improving the Management of Central Financial Research Funds."

What are the changes in the management of the central government's scientific research funds?

How to further "relax" scientific researchers?

On the 19th, relevant persons in charge of the Ministry of Finance gave answers one by one at the State Council’s regular policy briefing.

Give researchers greater autonomy in the use of funds

  Statistics show that from 2013 to 2020, the central government's expenditure on science and technology will reach 2.3 trillion yuan.

With the rapid growth of financial funding for science and technology, it is becoming more and more important to manage and use scientific research funds to better stimulate the innovation vitality of scientific researchers.

  According to Owenhan, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Finance, the opinions issued this time are based on the principle of letting go and letting go, focusing on the four "expansion", giving researchers greater autonomy in the use of funds:

  ——Expand the autonomy of budget preparation.

The budget subjects have been reduced from 9 or more to 3.

At the same time, the cost calculation instructions are streamlined, except for the equipment cost of more than 500,000 yuan, other costs only need to provide basic calculation instructions, and there is no need to "do everything."

  ——Expand the autonomy of budget adjustments.

The right to adjust the equipment cost budget is all delegated to the project undertaking unit, and all other cost adjustments are delegated to the person in charge of the project.

"The money used to buy soy sauce can be used to make vinegar," and it can be used flexibly according to the actual situation.

  ——Expand the scope of the funding contract system.

In addition to the implementation of the funding contract system for talent and basic research scientific research projects, the funding contract system has also been expanded from the project level to the level of scientific research institutions, and relevant departments and localities are encouraged to engage in basic, cutting-edge, and non-profit research independent legal person scientific research. The agency carried out a pilot project of the funding contract system.

  ——Expand the autonomy of the retention of surplus funds.

It is clarified that all the remaining funds of the project will be retained by the project undertaking unit for continued use, and the unit will make overall arrangements for direct expenditures for scientific research activities, and give priority to the scientific research needs of the original project team.

  "Only by fully respecting the laws of scientific research, giving scientific research units and researchers greater autonomy in the use of funds, and letting them let go of their hands, can we create more high-quality scientific research results." Owenhan said.

To stimulate the enthusiasm of scientific researchers and spend more than 50% on "people"

  Researchers are the "mainstay" in the implementation of the innovation-driven development strategy.

In order to further arouse the enthusiasm of scientific researchers, the opinions are “combined punches”.

  "In terms of funding sources, it is possible to make'you have money to send'." Owenhan said that the opinions clearly increase the proportion of indirect expenses. For pure theoretical basic research projects such as mathematics, the proportion of indirect expenses can be increased to no more than 60%.

At the same time, expand the scope of pilot projects for stably supporting the extraction of awards for scientific research funds, and increase incentives for the transformation of scientific and technological achievements.

  In terms of the scope of the use of funds, the realization of "the rich should be distributed."

The opinion expanded the scope of labor service expenses, and included the housing provident fund of the project hired personnel into the labor service expenses account.

  In terms of total performance pay management, prevent "money can't be paid."

The performance wage level of central universities, scientific research institutes, and enterprises will be adjusted dynamically.

When allocating performance wages, it is necessary to favor scientific researchers who undertake more national scientific research tasks and have outstanding results.

  "Preliminary estimates are that through the above-mentioned incentive measures, the cost of'people' in scientific research project funds can reach more than 50%, and the incentives for scientific researchers are unprecedented." Owenhan said.

Get rid of "finding tickets" and "posting tickets" to reduce the burden of reimbursement for scientific researchers

  The cumbersome procedures for reimbursement of scientific research funds are considered to be a major "pain point" of scientific research funds management, which consumes valuable time and energy of scientific research personnel.

  In this regard, Owenhan said that the opinions adhere to the problem-oriented approach and focus on reducing the burden of reimbursement of scientific research personnel from three aspects: one is to fully equip scientific research financial assistants to allow professional people to do professional things; the other is to improve financial reimbursement management methods to effectively solve scientific research. Personnel "find tickets" and "posted tickets"; the third is to promote paperless reimbursement, allowing more digital information to run away, and scientific research personnel to run less errands.

  In addition, in the actual disbursement of scientific research funds, due to the many links involved, sometimes the disbursement progress is relatively slow and scientific researchers are anxiously "waiting for the rice to be cooked".

  In this regard, Huang Jiayu, director of the Department of Science, Education and Culture of the Ministry of Finance, said that the opinions should start with optimizing the links between relevant departments and units, improve the allocation process, clarify the time limit for the allocation, compact the allocation responsibility, and strive to achieve the "interlocking" of the allocation of scientific research funds. "To reduce the transit time.