Kazakhstan is expanding the baseline state funding of science and preparing to increase the number of grants for Ph.D. training, QazMonitor reports. The current number of doctorate grants provided is nearly 1,200.
During the government hour in the lower house of parliament, the minister of science and higher education Sayasat Nurbek stated that since 2021, the national science system has been transitioning to a new model of funding.
Last year, research institutes increased the salaries of the country's 700 leading scientists by 70% and additional 350 scientists by 50%. The role of the National Academy of Science has also been strengthened by granting it state status, thus, resolving budgetary concerns. Additionally, on May 18, PM Alikhan Smailov will meet with the national council for science to discuss the three-year plan for funding research.
"[The Council] has 42 members, nine of whom are working abroad, and one is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. The experience of other countries shows that the work of the national council will contribute not only to the authority and quality of domestic science but also to overcoming any possible resistance. It will be an important link in the system of checks and balances," noted Nurbek.
Furthermore, the ministry intends to support young scientists by increasing the number of grants and the volume of salaries up to ₸500,000.
"Since 2013, young scientists who have defended a Ph.D. degree can participate in the grant programs. In the past two years, we have announced four competitions and supported 281 projects. Every year, we will allocate thousands of grants to support young scientists," said Nurbek.
He also talked about the allocation of 1% of the subsoil users' capital investments for the development of national science and technology.
"1% of investments from Samruk-Kazyna, Kazatomprom, and KazMunayGas will be accumulated in one place, and the national council will conduct the expertise. Previously, 1% of funding was transferred to the energy ministry, but now it is again in our hands to manage the submissions and construct new buildings," concluded the minister.