Astonishment is the only possible reaction at reading the latest call for funding of MIUR.
Italian researchers based on Italian universities can apply for an individual fund of 3,000 euros in order to support their basic research activity. The idea of supporting basic research activity by funding less than half of the 35,363 associate professors and researchers with a sum of 3,000 euros, after a time consuming and centralised selection process, sheds light on the tragic state of funding for our Universities. The idea of supporting their basic activity by individual budgets of 3,000 euros reveals the inconsistency of the analysis of standard cost (if any has been done) for most of the experimental research activities carried out in our institutions.
This action is apparently based on a complete ignorance of the budget available for each individual researcher as well as on the ignorance on the complex organisation system of researchers teams. The amount of money made available to the applicants humiliates once again the professional figure of Italian researchers and represents a clear mistrust on the University autonomy and financial independence. This action raises once again very serious questions regarding the level of awareness of the Italian policy makers on the financial framework in which researchers and teachers operate in the Italian Universities.
Nevertheless, this action has the merit to confirm a widespread feeling that basic activity of researchers and teachers in our universities is going to die. The cost of such death will be dramatically paid by future generations that, in the absence of any good and internationally competitive university education, will even miss the utmost possibility of the brain drain.
Cristina Barbieri, Vittorio Bellotti, Silvana Borutti, Carlo Cinquini, Bice Conti, Ersilia De Lorenzi, Giuseppe De Nicolao, Antonella Forlino, Silvia Garagna, Sofia Giorgetti, Elena Giulotto, Clelia Martignoni, Annalisa Marzuoli, Piercarlo Mustarelli, Stefano Ramat, Daniela Rando, Antonio Rossi, Mauro Torti, Luca Vanzago
Circolo Giorgio Errera – University of Pavia- Italy
Featured image credit: adrian via Unsplash
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