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Program for the Promotion of Researchers (PPI) in Venezuela: acknowledgment or stimulus?

Arévalo, Carmen LU ; Gonzalez, Ernesto and Velasco, Manuel (1996) In Interciencia 21(2). p.86-93
Abstract
In 1990 Venezuela started its Program for the Promotion of Researchers (PPI), in order to foster research in science and technology A partial evaluation of the effects of the program on scientific and technological activities can be carried out using data from the System for :the Promotion of Researchers Foundation Fund (SPI). A complete and definitive evaluation is not possible, due to the fact that the Venezuelan science and technology community has obtained other incentives and has been negatively affected by situations not related to the PPI. Here we do not evaluate the influence of these other factors over scientific endeavor. After the initial pow at the start of the program in 1990, the number of membership requests remained at a... (More)
In 1990 Venezuela started its Program for the Promotion of Researchers (PPI), in order to foster research in science and technology A partial evaluation of the effects of the program on scientific and technological activities can be carried out using data from the System for :the Promotion of Researchers Foundation Fund (SPI). A complete and definitive evaluation is not possible, due to the fact that the Venezuelan science and technology community has obtained other incentives and has been negatively affected by situations not related to the PPI. Here we do not evaluate the influence of these other factors over scientific endeavor. After the initial pow at the start of the program in 1990, the number of membership requests remained at a fairly constant level until the 1995 convocation, when the number of requests was doubled. The increased interest in the program may be ascribed to the change of the Technical Secretary and his policies of dialogue and information. About 50% of all accredited researchers are classified in level I. The rates of growth of levels III and Candidate are lower than expected. The norms of access to level III may be over-valued, as indicated by the fact that in the area of physics, mathematics and chemistry (CMFQ), 48 years of production al the stipulated rate are needed to reach that level. The surprisingly low number of Candidates points to the need of forming human resources with post-graduate studies in science and technology. In Venezuela, a researcher produces approximately one paper every two years. This is the production rate established for the enhance and permanence at level I, and it has remained fairly invariant along the 5 years of activity of the PPI. The rate of scientific production in Venezuela is notably less than that of the other four countries with largest scientific production in Latin America. Thanks to the PPI the country has a data base of the scientific-technical sector. Through this characterization, the researcher has been acknowledged and valued in his productive activity; nevertheless, the PPI has not had the expected impact over the country's scientific and technological production. The composition of the Committees of Areas has been a polemical factor in the application of the program. Of the potential evaluators, only 15% have sewed in the committees for medical, biological and agricultural sciences, and for physics, mathematics and chemistry, 25% in the committee for the social sciences, and 51% in the committee for engineering, technology and earth sciences. Although these committees have been formed according to regulations, their composition are a cause of uneasiness in the community, and therefore a change of the rules should be analyzed. Similar uneasiness is caused by a lack of a Committee of Appeals. The financial contribution of the PPI is less than 20% of a researcher's salary. To maintain the program's economic incentives, the State should recapitalize the SPI. The institutions that employ 82% of all researchers in the program are IVIC, LUZ, UCV, ULA and USE. Those which implemented institutional policies of stimulus to research (LUZ and USB), were successful in raising efficiency We conclude it is necessary to evaluate the program integrally and to study some statute modifications. Furthermore, the country's scientific institutions must cooperate to stimulate the sector, creating additional incentives, the State must back the program financially, and the scientific community must remain vigilant to keep and perfect this effort to support and promote national research.
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Interciencia
volume
21
issue
2
pages
8 pages
publisher
Interciencia Association
ISSN
0378-1844
language
English
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@article{8717cd49-0683-472c-8bf0-108f067a89da,
  abstract     = {In 1990 Venezuela started its Program for the Promotion of Researchers (PPI), in order to foster research in science and technology A partial evaluation of the effects of the program on scientific and technological activities can be carried out using data from the System for :the Promotion of Researchers Foundation Fund (SPI). A complete and definitive evaluation is not possible, due to the fact that the Venezuelan science and technology community has obtained other incentives and has been negatively affected by situations not related to the PPI. Here we do not evaluate the influence of these other factors over scientific endeavor. After the initial pow at the start of the program in 1990, the number of membership requests remained at a fairly constant level until the 1995 convocation, when the number of requests was doubled. The increased interest in the program may be ascribed to the change of the Technical Secretary and his policies of dialogue and information. About 50% of all accredited researchers are classified in level I. The rates of growth of levels III and Candidate are lower than expected. The norms of access to level III may be over-valued, as indicated by the fact that in the area of physics, mathematics and chemistry (CMFQ), 48 years of production al the stipulated rate are needed to reach that level. The surprisingly low number of Candidates points to the need of forming human resources with post-graduate studies in science and technology. In Venezuela, a researcher produces approximately one paper every two years. This is the production rate established for the enhance and permanence at level I, and it has remained fairly invariant along the 5 years of activity of the PPI. The rate of scientific production in Venezuela is notably less than that of the other four countries with largest scientific production in Latin America. Thanks to the PPI the country has a data base of the scientific-technical sector. Through this characterization, the researcher has been acknowledged and valued in his productive activity; nevertheless, the PPI has not had the expected impact over the country's scientific and technological production. The composition of the Committees of Areas has been a polemical factor in the application of the program. Of the potential evaluators, only 15% have sewed in the committees for medical, biological and agricultural sciences, and for physics, mathematics and chemistry, 25% in the committee for the social sciences, and 51% in the committee for engineering, technology and earth sciences. Although these committees have been formed according to regulations, their composition are a cause of uneasiness in the community, and therefore a change of the rules should be analyzed. Similar uneasiness is caused by a lack of a Committee of Appeals. The financial contribution of the PPI is less than 20% of a researcher's salary. To maintain the program's economic incentives, the State should recapitalize the SPI. The institutions that employ 82% of all researchers in the program are IVIC, LUZ, UCV, ULA and USE. Those which implemented institutional policies of stimulus to research (LUZ and USB), were successful in raising efficiency We conclude it is necessary to evaluate the program integrally and to study some statute modifications. Furthermore, the country's scientific institutions must cooperate to stimulate the sector, creating additional incentives, the State must back the program financially, and the scientific community must remain vigilant to keep and perfect this effort to support and promote national research.<br/>},
  author       = {Arévalo, Carmen and Gonzalez, Ernesto and Velasco, Manuel},
  issn         = {0378-1844},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {86--93},
  publisher    = {Interciencia Association},
  series       = {Interciencia},
  title        = {Program for the Promotion of Researchers (PPI) in Venezuela: acknowledgment or stimulus?},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {1996},
}