• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Monitoring survey of Highly Qualified R&D Personnel

Priority areas of development: sociology
2014
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

The study «Monitoring survey of Highly Qualified R&D Personnel» is a part of a large-scale comparative international project: «Careers of Doctorate Holders» (CDH). This project aims at developing internationally comparable indicators on the careers and mobility of the most qualified personnel in science and technology. It brings together researchers from 26 countries under the auspices of the three major international organizations: OECD, Eurostat and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

Object of Research: 

Statistics on careers of doctorate holders are compiled with a view to measure the demographic, employment, international and intra-sectoral mobility, career and earnings characteristics of holders of advanced research qualifications at national and international level. The term «doctorate holders» is used for persons with an advanced research qualification, in possession of an ISCED 1997 level 6 degree.

These statistics aim to answer questions about international mobility, which is an important aspect of the labour of highly skilled workers and frequently referred to as brain drain, brain gain, or brain circulation.

The career trajectories of doctoral holders are addressed in terms of career employment and effects on productivity (publications, patents, salary). This analysis is complemented by a second major issue, which aims to understand the role of motivations, experiences, professional shifts and other social phenomena in decision-making processes concerning career paths, and the decisions of opting for one type of mobility over the other, when mobile.

Goal of Research:

This project aims at deepening the knowledge of the career paths of doctorates and the role of mobility. The career paths of doctorates are explored based on three types of mobility: inter-sectoral, intra-sectoral and international mobility. This study is analytically focused on actual and potential mobility of PhDs and more special on the multiple affiliations of PhDs as a form of professional mobility.

The project focuses on two major interlinked issues: 1) mobility and internationalization, 2) motivations for research career.

The career trajectories of doctoral holders are addressed in terms of career employment and effects on productivity (publications, patents, salary). This analysis is complemented by a second major issue, which aims to understand the role of motivations in decision-making processes concerning career paths, and the decisions of opting for one type of mobility over the other, when mobile.

Empirical Base of Research:

The survey is based on the results of the study on doctorate holders. The collected data allowed analyzing the main social, economic, and demographic properties of the group. A multi-stage stratified quota sample is representative by region, type of organization, age of the respondent, field of doctorate degree. The total sample amounted to 2 852 respondents.

Results of Research:

The career trajectories of doctoral holders are addressed in terms of career employment and effects on productivity (publications, patents, salary). This analysis is complemented by a second major issue, which aims to understand the role of motivations, experiences, professional shifts and other social phenomena in decision-making processes concerning career paths, and the decisions of opting for one type of mobility over the other, when mobile.

The overview of approaches to study and measuring of scientific productivity and efficiency shows that the most researchers tended to connect productivity with number of publications. The models of scientific productivity are mostly quantitative, the researchers used various methods: regression models (negative binomial, piecewise-linear, partial least-square and some others), correlation analysis, cluster analysis, some methods from network analysis (measures of centrality, algorithm PageRank). It was found the correlation between quantity and quality of science production. Several studies focused on factors that could increase performance. Researchers discovered connections between productivity and different key attributes: funding, research collaboration, academic careers, different individual characteristics, technology usage, management, time spending on different roles (teaching, consulting) etc.

The analysis of scientific mobility of Russian researchers realised in the framework of this year wave of monitoring survey is based on the bibliometric data about Russian publications indexed in Web of Science (Thomson Reuters) in 2008. The obtained results enable us to identify certain trends. International mobility of Russian researchers has the same vector as their migration (USA, Germany, France and Great Britain). Organizations working in different fields of physics (especially in particle physics) are the most integrated in international research projects. They participate in all major international scientific projects in Europe (Switzerland, Germany, France) and USA. These organizations incorporate mostly Russian researchers having double (Russia/non-Russian) affiliations. In general, «mobile» scientists are co-authors of 15% of all publications published by Russian researchers in 2008 and indexed in Web of Science.

The results of this monitoring survey shows that the motivation of scientific work is always the complex concept that contains social, internal and external (material) factors. The main characteristic of work in the field of education and science is that personal interest to the chosen research task and the creative and innovative nature of such work are the main driving factors. Researchers are mostly high internal-motivated. This pattern is fully confirmed by the results of our survey. In decreasing order of importance the reasons for choosing scientific work activity are follows: internal, social and at last material reasons. The priority of internal motives remains constant for all groups of respondents and almost does not depend on any features of respondent’s life. If the current work allows the scientist to satisfy internal and social needs, the probability of leaving the field of education or science is minimal. However, the material factors are often really challenging in this area and can influence professional mobility and decrease scientific productivity.

Internationally mobile doctorate holders not only have high professional scientific skills (ability to work in workshops and laboratories), but also have wide range of general social skills such as creative collaboration with colleagues and understanding of functional principals of complex scientific organizations.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of Results

This analysis showcases the potential of collected data to inform policy questions, notably through the use of micro-data based econometric methods. Results of the survey may be used to elaborate public policies in the field of employment and careers of the highly qualified R&D personnel.

Field of application:

The monitoring results are regularly presented at Russian and international conferences; are published in national and international reviews and journals. The working papers are also used in monographs and articles addressing human resources of R&D sector in Russia.

Publications:


Shmatko N. A. Research Teams’ Human Capital / NRU Higher School of Economics. Series WP BRP "Science, Technology and Innovation". 2014. No. WP BRP 32/STI/2014 .
Natalia A. Shmatko, Katchanov Y. L. Complexity-based Modeling of Scientific Capital: an Outline of Mathematical Theory // International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences. 2014. Vol. 2014. No. ID 785058 doi