Results of half-year work of JINR Dissertation Councils

News, 31 August 2022

Since 2019, the Joint Institute has been exercising the right to award scientific degrees independently. A special JINR Qualification Committee has been established for this purpose. The work of the JINR Dissertation Councils is carried out publicly. Its leadership shares the results of the commission’s work during the first half of 2022.

During the first half of 2022, 17 defences were held in the Institute’s Dissertation Councils, 12 of which were for the degree of Candidate of Sciences and five for the degree of Doctor of Science. These quantitative indicators are at a higher level than in the first half of 2021. Since 1 September 2019, when the Institute started exercising the right to award degrees independently, JINR Dissertation Councils have held 59 defences, which have awarded 46 Candidate Degrees and 13 Doctoral Degrees. During the reporting period, five permanent Dissertation Councils continued to operate permanently and seven one-time councils were established.

At the beginning of the year, the dynamic growth in the number of defences was supplemented by another front of work – updating the JINR regulations governing the procedures for awarding degrees and the activities of Dissertation Councils. The Qualification Committee of the Institute has carried out extensive work to prepare for the planned update of the JINR normative documents, allowing bringing them in accordance with the changes in the legislation of the Russian Federation. It has also made it possible to clarify a number of issues based on the two and a half year experience of the Dissertation Council. Up to date, the first defences have taken place according to the updated regulations.

Also for the first time in the practice of the new Dissertation Councils of the Institute, an application for the withdrawal of a degree was considered. In accordance with JINR regulations, an expert commission was formed to elaborate the application, whose members prepared independent individual opinions on the issue under consideration. A joint meeting of the working group of the Qualification Committee and the Expert Commission was organized in the presence of the applicant, the degree holder, and the Chairman of the Dissertation Council, who decided on the award of the degree. The meeting adopted a joint opinion of the two commissions and a decision to reject the applicant’s request for the withdrawal of the degree.

In the discussion at the meeting, members of the two commissions emphasised the publicity and openness of all application procedures, meaning that information about each stage of the application process is publicly available on the official JINR website. During the analysis of the arguments noted by the applicant, first of all, compliance of the arguments presented with the current legislation of the Russian Federation, JINR normative documents on the right to independently confer academic degrees, and the recommendations of the Higher Attestation Commission under the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia were established. The members of both commissions also carefully considered issues outside the current JINR normative documents on the awarding of degrees, despite their debatable and in certain aspects emotional nature, but it was decided not to include them in the final conclusion. In the opinion of the members of the Qualification Committee, the important aspects in analysing this application were the work of the experts on the principles of independence from the decision made by the Dissertation Council on the award of the degree and the detailed argumentation of each argument formulated by the applicant.

Starting from 1 September this year, the JINR Dissertation Councils will work according to the new nomenclature of scientific specialities. These changes are due to the requirements of the Higher Attestation Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation in connection with the updating of the list of scientific specialities, unified for all organizations. In accordance with earlier plans, the JINR Dissertation Councils were re-registered from 24 to 31 August 2022, with new codes assigned to them. After the break, the Dissertation Councils restarted their work with updated membership. By now, the JINR Qualification Committee, together with the Institute’s laboratories, has carried out the main set of activities to prepare for work in compliance with the new nomenclature.