Institutes Reinvent Themselves As Part of Well-Funded Reform

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Science  08 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5399, pp. 150-153
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5399.150a

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BEIJING-- In November China's governing body, the State Council, approved 12 projects as part of a 3-year, $650 million effort known as the Knowledge Innovation Program. The sweeping initiative groups 40 of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' (CAS's) more than 120 institutes into nine megafacilities and turns three prominent institutes into test-beds for a slew of management reforms, including eliminating lifetime tenure, relieving institutes of responsibility for nonresearch activities such as housing and medical care, and giving scientists more authority over personnel decisions (see sidebar). This massive reorganization aims to turn CAS into a lean, mean, merit-based research machine and into a model for research across the country.