19 April, 2022 17:23

Russian Science Foundation released 2021 results and plans for 2022

On 13 April, the Supervisory Board of the Russian Science Foundation approved its 2021 annual report. In accordance with the federal law, the report will be forwarded to the President of the Russian Federation and the federal government for their policy reference. It is also published on the RSF website.
Credit: Alexey Gavrilov / TASS

In 2021, the amount of funding for 5 300 projects amounted to 24.3 billion Russian rubles (appx.US$ 440 million), 39 600 scientists from more than 580 organizations were engaged in the RSF-funded research. As a result of their activities in the past year, over 14 000 publications were published in leading scientific journals.

“This year, Russian Science Foundation will increase the number of projects funded to 7,500. Meanwhile, we expect to fund 10,000 projects in 2023, engaging about 50 000 researchers across the country”, Alexander Khlunov said regarding the progress in awards.

In 2021, 15 calls for proposals were released. More than 4 100 Russian and foreign reviewers assessed applications submitted. As a result, some 3 700 new projects from 58 regions of Russia were awarded.

With regards to the number of applications submitted, research organizations from the Central Federal District (38.6%), Northwestern Federal District (15.7%) and Siberian Federal District (15.6%) topped the list. In 2021, scientists from a mere 20% of the research performing organizations in Russia applied for grants to the Russian Science Foundation.

Researchers from Siberian Federal District have again taken a confident leading position in terms of the number of RSF grant applications submitted to the number of R&D organizations located in the region. Research in Siberia also outperformed other regions in terms of the number of RSF grants they received to the number of R&D personnel in the region.

Traditionally, the largest number of awards in 2021 was in engineering sciences (18,6%), chemistry and materials sciences (18,6%), followed by physics (14,1%).

In terms of the number of project awards in 2021, the leaders were Lomonosov Moscow State University (7.6%), St. Petersburg State University (4.6%), ITMO university (2.3%), Institute of Applied Physics RAS (1.8%), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (1.8%), Kazan Federal University (1.6%), HSE university (1.6%), MISIS (1,6%), Ural Federal University (1.5%) and Tomsk State University (1.5%)

Furthermore, Alexander Khlunov spoke in detail about the portrait of the average PI and team member of the typical RSF-funded project. Thus, more than 55% of the projects are carried out under the guidance of young scientists, 27% of all RSF PIs are female scientists.

In 2021, despite the situation with the coronavirus pandemic RSF grantees published actively in leading international journals and participated in influential international research collaborations.

“We are proud that 41% of RSF-funded publications are in highly reputable Q1 [the share of publications in the most cited journals from the Web of Science database]. It is extremely important that internationally significant and peer-reviewed results appear out of the projects supported,” Alexander Khlunov highlighted.

RSF-funded research teams have collaborated mostly with scientists from US, Germany, China, France, UK and Italy.

The RSF continues to encourage international research cooperation. The Foundation participates in a number of bilateral funding schemes that help outstanding Russian researchers participate in collaborative research projects with their top international peers. In 2021, the RSF provided funding for 146 international collaborative projects in the total amount of US$ 12,3 million.

Alexander Khlunov paid special attention to new guidelines that the Foundation will announce in the context of global turbulence and its implications for researchers in Russia.

The RSF Director General re-assured that the Foundation will continue funding international collaborative projects even though some foreign partners announced the suspension of the project, stopped or intend to stop co-funding. While maintaining friendly relations with traditional partners in Europe, new funding partnerships will expand to emerging research nations in Asia, BRICS and CIS regions.

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