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Elite program for young researchers proposed

TT/The Local · 21 Jul 2010, 17:25

Published: 21 Jul 2010 17:25 GMT+02:00

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In an article on Dagens Nyheter's opinion page on Wednesday, Krantz wrote that the proposed elite program would give young researchers the chance to receive good funding for a certain amount of time and greater freedom to develop their research.

Scientists will be recruited from different scientific disciplines. When fully developed, the program is expected to include around 100 scientists. The inspiration for the proposal comes from a similar project in the US, which has produced good results.

Krantz wrote in the opinion piece that Sweden is one of the countries which invests the most in research and development, but has not succeeded at all in taking advantage of the extensive investments.

Marie Granlund, the Social Democrats' education policy spokeswoman, believes the advisory group of researchers to the government has done a good job, but the government has not impressed.

"This is a bit of Krantz playing Santa Claus when the proposals can be implemented in only three years," she said. "In the meantime, we have had proposals on investing in young researchers that the centre-right government has voted against."

She added, "As for government investment in basic education, the government has done nothing there."

However, the Swedish Association of University Teachers (Sveriges universitetslärarförbund, SULF) is receptive to the group's proposal, although one important point is missing, according to SULF President Anna Götlind.

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"A requirement for the elite researchers is that they want to receive an undergraduate education linked to research-related education," she said in a press release.

"The group appears to have completely overlooked the need for resources linked to research tied with funding for undergraduate education. Without an academic undergraduate education of the highest class, it will not produce elite researchers," she added.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:11 July 21, 2010 by mikmak
I wish they'd stop calling every education reform elite this or elite that, it's getting old.
19:33 July 21, 2010 by dwb5555
Why don't they first pay the scientists that are already here. Right now they give grants to young scientists however after that money is up they either have to find new money to pay their salaries, which most funding agency don't want to do or your out of a job. So they should first fix the current system instead of just throwing money at young scientists that won't have a future.
21:53 July 21, 2010 by proteasome
"The inspiration for the proposal comes from a similar project in the US"

Actually two totally different concepts:

Krantz is talking about the US science funding from Howard Hughes. They give a ton of money to researchers that have shown they are world class beforehand. They check on them all the time and when the results decline the money stops and you never get it back. To get the money you first need a position and a group doing great work. The proposed system for Sweden is give 100 young scientist who have had the luck to have one or two good papers while they worked in a lab outside of Sweden for someone (not their ideas, lab monkeys). Give them way too much money and promise permanent positions before knowing if they will be any good at all. With the Swedish laws on hiring and positions, Sweden will be stuck with 90 worthless scientists who know there salary is promised until they retire and 10 qualified group leaders. Great..

Considering the government currently does not pay enough to teach science maybe they should have courses at the Universities that use the latest techniques and quality teachers. Don't worry about age or numbers, find underfunded scientist in Sweden give them enough money for 5 years and cut them off if they don't produce. If there is no one qualified don't give the money. Don't worry if the person is 25 or 105 years old. Get something for the tax payers money.
09:50 July 22, 2010 by Nemesis
This is a good idea yes.

However in Sweden the same problems always pop up.

Everything runs around an old boy networks in Sweden.

Most scientists are not made to collaborate with local industry.

That way most patents are picked up abroad instead of being used in Sweden and Europe.
21:42 July 22, 2010 by code850
@ proteasome: You must be a monkey yourself to use words like 'lab monkeys'. Working on an idea is a good thing. Who originated the idea is totally irrelevant.
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