National Academies of Sciences and Research Organisations (EN)


The institutional context of academic research plays a decisive role in how the national and the European academic community responds to new challenges as well as in its ability to conduct groundbreaking research projects. It has a decisive impact on motivating researchers directly and through the context dependencies of managerial decisions and the dynamics of professional social networks.

The long traditions of the European academic institutions should be considered as important assets for facing the challenges of the 21st century. However, there are elements of these traditions that may pose an obstacle and impede efforts to adjust institutions in a fast changing world of academic research.  This ambiguity is particularly relevant for the legacies of the soviet-type organization of science in post-socialist countries.

Our goal is to assess how career and other research-related decisions are shaped by the institutional setting, through factors like funding, employment, or the system of academic degrees and titles; how perceptions of stability, prestige, funding motivate decisions about career, mobility, cooperation; how these factors play out in the various national academic settings, and how changing these could help creating a research area in Europe that is more effective, more robust, and more integrated.

We are particularly interested in the governmental strategies to cope with the institutional and cultural legacy of the soviet-type organization of science. The research focuses on the path from the postdoctoral status to full professorship. The project includes an institutional analysis and an inquiry into the real-life operation of the promotion systems.

The following issues are of particular interest:

• Stages of the academic career path-levels before and beyond full professorship

• Earning opportunities at different stages

• Systems of grants and scholarships

• The distribution of the scholarly community among the different positions (e.g., age-profile and selectivity at different levels)

• Types of entry requirements at different stages (e.g., the doctoral system, dissertation requirements, habilitation procedures. The role of scientometrics. The relative role of international reputation)

• Gate-keepers at different stages (relative roles of the institutional stakeholders: department, faculty/institute, university, independent bodies, governmental actors. Key persons and groups.

• Selection into the selection committees

• Rules vs. discretion in the promotion process at different stages (and the role of the formal evaluation systems)

• The (in)congruence of the academic hierarchy and the scholarly reputation

• Impacts of the institutional context on career strategies

• Disciplinary differences in the promotion processes

Our kickoff event took place in Budapest on 7-8 April 2015. See the program and the list of participants here.

Four country case studies, presented at the workshop, have been published in the MTA Law Working Papers:

  • Kateřina Cidlinská – Marcela Linková: Comparing National Academies of Sciences in Central and Eastern Europe: The Czech Academy of Sciences Research careers in their academic setting – National Topographies, MTA Law Working Papers 2015/31
  • Dorota Wiszejko-Wierzbicka – Agnieszka Kwiatkowska: Comparing National Academies of Sciences in Central and Eastern Europe: Research Careers in the Polish Academy of Sciences – National Topography, MTA Law Working Papers 2015/30
  • Adriana Reveiu: Comparing National Academies of Sciences in Central and Eastern Europe: The Case of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, MTA Law Working Papers 2015/29
  • Anatoliy A. Shiyan – Liliya O. Nikiforovа: Comparing National Academies of Sciences in Central and Eastern Europe: Current State and Perspectives for the Development of the National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine, MTA Law Working Papers 2015/28

The research group has been dealing with the current state of social science funding. See the detailed analysis here:

The research group also discussed the termination of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund. Read the blog entry and the working paper comparing the legal regulation before and after the changes:

  • Zsolt Körtvélyesi: Törvényi változások az OTKA megszűnésével - jogszabályi összehasonlítás [Legal changes with the termination of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund -- comparison of the legal regulations], blog entry, JTI blog, December 8, 2014
  • Zsolt Körtvélyesi: Jogi elemzés az OTKA megszűnéséről [Legal analysis on the termination of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund] MTA Law Working Papers 2015/27


Members of the research group:

Zsolt Boda

András Jakab

Gyula Koi

Zsolt Körtvélyesi (co-ordinator)

Adrienn Nyircsák

Andrea Schmidt

Balázs Váradi