At the meeting of JINR STC: on scientific qualification rating

Organization, 03 July 2018

On 26 June 2018, the first meeting of the JINR Science and Technology Council of a new convocation was held in the International Conference Hall.

The first issue considered at the meeting was an organizational one: on the proposal of STC Chairman R.V. Jolos, Head of the VBLHEP Physical Department at the Nuclotron-NICA accelerator complex E.A. Strokovsky was elected as Deputy Chairman of the JINR STC. Referring to planning of the JINR STC work, R.V. Jolos noted topicality of the issues considered at the STC meetings, especially those on which the decision has not yet been made and only the concept is discussed, as the most significant factor. This was facilitated by information given by JINR Director at the beginning of the each meeting. Many topical issues were discussed at the joint meetings of the JINR STC and the JINR Directorate. One of the main tasks of the work plans of a new STC will be working out of a strategy for the development of JINR. R.V. Jolos noted that the significant role of the JINR STC is determined by the fact that it is an advisory body of the scientific staff representing the laboratories, and the main goal of the Institute is scientific results. It was also noted that in the past five years contacts of the JINR STC with the Dubna University had greatly extended. In addition, there is expansion of contacts of the JINR Public Council with the Dubna city administration, and all this contributes to the growth of the Institute’s influence on the city life.

Information on the work of the JINR Directorate between two STC meetings was presented by Academician V.A. Matveev. He noted that JINR Member States successfully fulfill their financial obligations to JINR thanks to which major projects, namely NICA and the Factory of Superheavy Elements, are being developed according to the plan. Another issues Director of the Institute focused on were improving of cooperation with Member States, organizations and universities and the need of legal registration of joint works, activities of international collaborations.

Particular steps were taken for further development of educational activities of JINR: establishment of a boarding school for talented children under the scientific guidance of JINR, development of the system of training engineers on the UC and the Dubna University basis. In this regard, JINR Director noted considerable efforts of Yu.Ts. Oganessian made to support this programme.

At the recently held European School of High Energy Physics, two reports were delivered by CERN Director General Fabiola Gianotti and JINR Director V.A. Matveev, both of which were devoted to programmes of development of international scientific centres. Commenting on the milestones of the School, V.A. Matveev mentioned a deep interest of participants in both programmes, and the main thing understood from discussions at the School is the general opinion that CERN and JINR are not rivals, but partners, even if they have common scientific interests.

JINR Director also visited Uzbekistan. The JINR delegation headed by Academician V.A. Matveev visited the Republic of Uzbekistan at the invitation of President of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan Academician B.S. Juldashev. The delegation was welcomed by State Counsellor of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan R.S. Kasymov. Issues of cooperation between JINR and scientific and educational centres of Uzbekistan as well as restoration of full membership of Uzbekistan at JINR were discussed. The ways of joint actions on the discussed issues were outlined.

The main issues discussed at the STC meeting was establishing in JINR a scientific qualification rating system on the basis of the right for independent assignment of scientific degrees. This information was reported on by JINR Chief Scientific Secretary A.S. Sorin, co-author of the report was Deputy Head of the JINR Science Organization and International Cooperation Office O.V. Belov. A relevant order in JINR numbered 77 was published on 13 February 2018: “According to the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation of 23.08.2017 on granting the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, in accordance with its request, the right to award academic degrees of candidates and doctors in the fields of physical sciences with issuance of relevant diplomas on its own behalf on the basis of successful defence of theses, which is recognition of the high scientific authority of JINR as an international intergovernmental organization”. According to the order, an organization committee for identifying core principles for the basis of the scientific qualification rating system is established under the JINR Directorate and the Science and Technology Council.

A possible structure of dissertation councils of JINR is the following: there will be permanent councils for particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, information technologies and computational physics. A council for theoretical physics will be one-time, not permanent, i.e. established specially for particular defence. For coordination of a dissertation council, establishment of a special body, the scientific qualification rating committee (preliminary name) is supposed. JINR Director, JINR Chief Scientific Secretary, scientific secretaries of existing dissertation committees of JINR will probably be members of this committee.

A.S. Sorin introduced Members of STC with some details of work at the drafts of relevant documents. JINR representatives took part in several meetings of Minobrnauki, got acquainted with experience of Moscow and St. Petersburg universities, and, as a result, there were thirty most urgent issues requiring quick solutions that were placed on several pages of the report. At the end of the report, three main positions were summarized. Three basic principles. The system of awarding degrees should ensure transparency of awarding procedures; increase of attractiveness of thesis defence at JINR as well as high status and competitiveness of JINR academic degrees at the international arena should be provided.

The report evoked a vivid interest among the participants of the meeting. There were questions and comments of S.N. Nedelko, Yu.Ts. Oganessian, D.V. Fursaev, D.V. Peshekhonov, R. Tsenov, D.V. Naumov, A.I. Frank, N. Popa, A.I. Malakhov, T.A. Strizh, E.A. Kolganova, A.G. Popeko.

In conclusion of the discussion, JINR Director V.A. Matveev accepted the proposal of Yu.Ts. Oganessian to “determine the basic principles”. He noted that first, it is necessary to strive to “make the JINR diploma so significant that applicants not only from the JINR Member States, but also from other countries come to Dubna. Of course, for this purpose, world leading scientists should be involved in work of the dissertation councils. Moreover, JINR diplomas should be recognized in Poland, the Czech Republic and other countries”.

Evgeny Molchanov, JINR Weekly Newspaper