Key points of the Fund operations
1. The basic research and academic activities are supported through the HSE Academic Fund on the project basis. The Fund carries out a competitive selection of research projects (through individual grants contests and collective research projects ‘teacher–students’), supports participation in research conferences, facilitates academic events, performs monitoring and evaluation of their outcomes; coordinates organisation of professional review of the projects (with a focus on external review); promotes dissemination of findings of the HSE research.
2. All major decisions regarding the provision of support for particular projects are made by the Fund Board, which involves HSE Academic Supervisor (as the Chair of the Board) and HSE Rector. Other members of the Board are 17 experts who are prominent Russian and foreign academics (including at least 6 representatives of external organisations who are not employed by HSE). The composition of the Fund Board is subject to approval by the Academic Council of HSE. According to the Regulations on the HSE Academic Fund, up to 1/3 of the Board members shall be replaced on a rotational basis every two years.
3. The Fund Board defines the strategies to support academic activities in HSE, appoints coordinators in the areas of focus, approves contest procedures, the candidacies of area experts, the results of project reviews and the results of basic contests (for research projects support). Managerial support to the Academic Fund is provided by Executive Director of the Fund – HSE Vice-rector who is responsible for academic research management, alongside with the HSE Academic Research Office.
4. Coordinators of academic areas, who are selected among the members of the Board, suggested by Chair of the Board and approved by the Board, play the critical part in managing the project review process. The Coordinators (there are currently 13) establish a network of independent experts – prominent researchers in related areas, who review and evaluate the projects applying for the Fund support. According to the Regulations on the HSE Academic Fund, amidst the independent experts the share of staff members must not exceed 30%, and the share of part-time staff members 30%; a minimum of 40% of experts must be employees of other organisations, including international and foreign ones. The review process comprises three steps:
Step 1: Project applications, classified by research areas, are forwarded to Coordinators of academic areas. Coordinators appoint at least two independent experts to review every project application.
Step 2: Every project application is forwarded for review to 2 independent experts, of which at least one is an external expert (i.e. not a full or part-time staff member of HSE). In case of a considerable disagreement between the two evaluations, the Coordinator can sent the project application for a third review, but has the right to present his/her substantiated opinion to the Bureau or the Board of Fund.
Step 3: The Fund Board or the Bureau of the Board make ultimate decisions regarding the provision of support and finance for the projects participating in the Fund contest, or they suggest recommendations on support of projects and events according to the Regulations on Contests of the HSE Academic Fund Programme.
5. Research can be carried out in the following academic fields:
- Computer and information sciences
- Physical sciences
- Chemical sciences
- Earth and related Environmental sciences
- Biological sciences
- Engineering and technology
- Medical and Health sciences
- Economics and Business
- Educational sciences
- Sociology (inc. Social and economic geography)
- Political science
- Media and communications
- History and Archaeology
- Languages and Literature
- Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
- Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)
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