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Management on National Science Funds to Be Strengthened
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The State Council has publicized a draft regulation on the national science funds in order to solicit public opinions on how science projects to be sponsored, supervised and managed.

According to the draft, the National Natural Science Foundation of China should solicit advice from experts from universities, scientific research institutes when approving projects supported by the funds.

Expert panels should independently judge and evaluate the applications of candidate researchers in terms of scientific values, innovation, social effects, the researcher's ability and the feasibility of the project, said the draft.

The foundation should spot-check the implementation of the project and regularly evaluate the work, establishing databases of research data and expert panels.

If the principals of the project falsify research facts or plagiarize scientific research the funds will be suspended, said the draft.

Project researchers who are involved in falsifying research data, padding expenses, embezzling and waste funds could be banned from applying for funds for five to seven years, according to the draft.

Several recent scandals at China's top universities have raised public concern over the supervision of academics at higher-learning institutions.

Earlier in May, Chen Jin, a dean at Shanghai Jiaotong University, was fired for faking state-funded research on the Hanxin computer chip and Liu Hui of Tsinghua University was dismissed as professor in March for forging his academic achievements and work experience.

According to Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua, China's investment in science and technology will reach 71.6 billion yuan (US$8.95 billion) in 2006, up 19.2 percent from 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2006)

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