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Postdoctoral system reform is mapped out

Updated: Dec 3,2015 3:37 PM

The State Council issued a guideline on Dec 3, mapping out reforms in the postdoctoral system to give a bigger role to postdoctoral talent in mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

The guideline called for more academic exchanges and international exchanges to cultivate more high-level innovative talent, as well as more supportive policies to encourage postdoctoral researchers to engage in innovation and entrepreneurship in enterprises.

Through reforms, China hopes to become significantly more attractive to post-doc candidates by 2020, with a much higher ratio of postdoctoral researchers in major national scientific and technological projects and more foreigners and Chinese returnees in post-doc programs.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the postdoctoral system in China.

The guideline urges improving basic and research funding for postdoctoral talent. Annual basic funding for postdoctoral researchers was raised from 50,000 yuan ($7,815) to 80,000 yuan per person on Aug 1.

Postdoctoral venture capital funds are to be established, and postdoctoral funds for researching and developing new technologies, products and techniques will enjoy preferential tax policies.

The guideline called for more investment of social capital to support innovation and entrepreneurship of postdoctoral talent by establishing award funds and venture capital funds.

The guideline also said that universities, research institutes and enterprises should have more say in recruitment and cultivation of postdoctoral talent, and more support should be given to small and medium-sized high-tech enterprises, particularly private ones, in establishing postdoctoral research centers.

Research and innovation teams are to be established with postdoctoral researchers as core members, and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to take part in major scientific and research programs, said the guideline.

It added that universities, research institutes and enterprises hosting postdoctoral research centers are encouraged to establish postdoctoral international exchange programs and sign contracts with top universities and research institutes abroad for postdoctoral exchanges.

The postdoctoral researchers employed at research centers are entitled to earnings converted from their scientific research achievements, and enterprises can use stock rights, share options and dividends as incentives to encourage postdoctoral talent, said the guideline.