On the Current Situation and Countermeasures of the Scientific Research Management in Colleges and Universities
Xu T., Li Z. On the Current Situation and Countermeasures of the Scientific Research Management in Colleges and Universities // Образование и воспитание. 2015. №5. С. 54-56. URL https://moluch.ru/th/4/archive/18/496/ (дата обращения: 23.02.2018).
This paper analyses the current situation of the scientific research management in higher educational institutes, points out the main problems emerging in the scientific research management in order to propose the solutions to those problems in terms of strengthening the management mechanism, the innovation of the scientific research, and the quality enhancement of the administrators respectively. In result, higher educational institutes will be capable of playing a better leading role in the scientific and technological development of our country.
Key words: higher educational institutes (HEI); scientific research management (SRM); current situation; countermeasures.
Higher education institutes (HEI) are important bases for knowledge diffusion, knowledge innovation, meanwhile, generate new ideas, theories and technologies. Therefore, higher education institutes are characterized by complete majors, diversified subjects and intensive generalization. The research undertaking of HEI will assure quality education and strengthened education reforms. HEI play a leading part in basic research, high-tech development and the nation’s scientific and technological courses. [1,p.93] Competition in science and technology is the competition in management. Effective management of research work affects significantly the level of the research work and development, while traditional concepts and modes of management are proved awkward. Hence, it is practically significant to analyze and control on a macro scale the existing problems in managing research work, and seek corresponding solutions.
I. Current Situation of HEI Research Management
1. Inadequacy of Management Mechanism
At present, HEI research management systems are proved under-developed in the following cases: Firstly, a set of systematic and effective managing policies have not been made. HEI research management has been performed in the mode of planned economy for years. Management systems are inadequate. [2,p.213] In result, the research management was unsystematic and inefficient, and the work plan was solely around programmed project management. Secondly, inadequate management systems failed to construct research environment with clarified orientation, independent logic and efficient operation. Some university teachers take academic work with the purpose of winning academic titles, which devalues academic work. Some teachers emphasize research rather than teaching, which resulted from unclear orientation and incentive systems.
2. Unscientific research management system
Unscientific research management is mainly reflected in the co-existence of the over-concentration and the over-dispersion of research management. For years, by means of top-down administrative management, HEI Scientific Research Administrative Departments administrate colleges, faculties directly, which is time-consuming. Meanwhile, the autonomy and creativity the colleges or faculties can not be put into practice, and research information fails to be introduced. [3,p.31] On the contrary, the ultimate autonomy of colleges and faculties will generate over-dispersion of management, besides, cut down the macro-coordination and information integration of the research administrative departments. Communications and coordination among brunches are found less. Research activities are done individualized, dispersed in smaller scales, which hinders potential team work and the integration effect of multi-disciplines. Hence, HEI will find difficulties in undertaking significant high-level projects of multi-disciplines. Accordingly, multi-discipline research will be surely constrained and senior academics will seldom be found.
3. Lack of quality administration staff
The quality and academic level of the administrators are critical to effective research management, but that hasn’t attracted much attention of the board members. Many of the HEI administrators are not professional managers due to the lack of systematic management training including management methodology, management knowledge and management skills, so what they do are daily routine chores like information posters. Some research administrators once took some management courses, but they never bid for research projects or participate in awards decisions, therefore, they are incapable of comprehensively recognizing and further studying the features of HEI research. [4,p178] Besides, they know little about series of issues in research system, and they offer no help in teachers’ hardship in research. In that context, some HEI research authorities pay little attention to those problems mentioned, provide administrative staff few opportunities for further training or education, even deny effective rewards and penalty systems. Those doings of the research authorities minify the research administration staff’s enthusiasm for work, and contribute to the instability and inefficiency of the research administration staff.
1. Strengthening research management mechanism
Firstly, competition mechanism generates breakthroughs. In the time of rapid development of scientific research and technology revolution, scientific research is characterized by cross-disciplines, integrated methodologies, and complicated research target, which requires university teachers’ creative work in their own fields. [5,p120] Thus, HEI research administers should draw up competition mechanism based on team work and coordination, provide teachers satisfactory research environment assuring multi-discipline research, shared resources, and various research perspectives, so that teachers’ research capabilities can be enhanced and those teachers can sort out comprehensive research theories in the successfully-designed mechanism for competition.
Incentive mechanism based on the combination of quantitative analysis and qualitative evaluation has to be taken by HEI research administration department. The all-round incentive mechanism should be made to clarify incentive orientation, set standards of awards, stimulate high-level academic accomplishment and its award, prevent teachers’ utilitarian intention. Accordingly, teachers will be excited to produce more original, fundamental research of higher levels.
On the basis of incentive mechanism, restrictive mechanism ought to be made in appropriate application of various test systems. Teachers’ research achievement archives and quantitative test record should be made. Teachers with high academic titles might be given punitive measures like the reduction of academic pension in line with their titles in order to keep them active in research. [6,p.242] The teachers, who fail to complete their research projects in scheduled time without sound excuse, may be punished to certain extent in order to motivate their initiatives and inventiveness, and their teaching performance could be improved.
2. Strengthening the Innovation of Research Administration
Firstly, the concept innovation of research administration has to be firmly held by administration staff rather than traditional administration concepts. The administration staff should work in the people-oriented philosophy, take humanity management strategies, and combine rigid management with flexible management. They are expected to take the opportunity of HEI education reforms, emphasize the value of serving teachers’ research activities and enhancing teachers’ research capabilities. All-round management concepts with insights could be made to stimulate the creativity of scientific research.
Secondly, management modes of scientific research will be expected. With the development of modern science and technology, social sciences and natural sciences are communicating increasingly, and complicated cross-discipline projects are found larger in number. Thus, two-level (from the university to the college) management mode characterized by the integrated functions and rights is required, in which university authorities offer a macro guidance, research administration departments coordinate, while it is college research authorities and secretaries who assist teachers in projects application, operation, completion and award application. Different levels of research management sections take their own place with clarified duties, which helps in integrating scientifically cross-disciplinary research staff, sharing research resources, promoting cross-discipline exchanges and co-work. Moreover, attention should be made to academic exchanges with enterprises and other HEI in order to strengthen win-win situation, and promote an optimal allocation of research human resource and academic resource.
Last but not the least, management methodology should be innovated. With the development of high-tech, research administration staffs are required to apply developed office means with advanced office concepts. The administration staff should be capable of using electronic administration platform, through which research information, documents, announcements and regulations can be transmitted to corresponding brunches, while research achievements can be uploaded as a database for the administration. [7,p.65] Moreover, various research projects bidding and award application can be submitted to the administration network, so that the overall research achievements can be well kept in the website and statistics can be automatically generated. That open and multi-channeled resources can be exchanged, and the management level and work efficiency can be enhanced.
3. Improving the quality of research management staffs
Firstly, the professional skills of research administration staffs should be improved. HEI research administration staffs ought to be equipped with management theories, and they should keep constantly renewing their internal knowledge construct. As practical operators in administration, those staffs are expected to play a leading part in disciplinary development and research orientation. Thus they are required to comprehend the research procedure and the disciplinary knowledge structure within the university, besides, they should keep an eye on disciplinary development trend, the preceding issues and the latest research, so that with good professional skills and comprehensive management concepts can they communicate effectively with the research staffs and serve them with professional and scientific guidance.
Secondly, research administration staffs’coordinating abilities should be strengthened. Using management theories, research administration staffs are not only transmitters of information, but also coordinators in project selection, research team allocation, and research fund management among relative departments. For instance, in regard of cross-disciplinary project supervision, the administrative coordination will be needed to prevent teachers’ potential awkward moments. When confronting major projects, the administrative coordination will be expected to organize relative research staffs in preparing for the successful bidding, and negotiate with the finance administration department on effective fund budget and management in order to effectively increase the fund expenditure, which will further the efficiency of the research administration.
Thirdly, the service sense of SRM staffs should be strengthened. Routine SRM is actually a process of serving, which requires that SRM staffs should be able to transmit, interpret the research tasks patiently, thoroughly and accurately to the research staffs. [8,p.31] Meanwhile, they should be capable of introducing international advanced research theories and effective methodologies to the research fellows, and endeavoring to remove the difficulties they encounter in the research, which will provide a humane circumstances for the research staffs’ devoting engagement in research.
In sum, the developing research activities require increasingly efficient administration system which directs and serves the research activities in return. HEI research authorities should keep on exploring ways to strengthen SRM mechanism, innovate SRM concepts, modes, contents and methodologies, which will be contributing for the speeding-up the HEI research progress and the promotion of HEI research levels.
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