Staffing strategies of Polish scientific institutions in the light of results of the parameterization

Ireneusz Sadowski


The article analyzes staffing strategies of Polish scientific institutions by utilizing data from the parameterization, formally known as Comprehensive Evaluation of Scientific Units, for the period 2009-2012. This data allows to look specifically at number of existing research posts (size of an institution), ratio of scientists to posts (employment flexibility) and number of employees without any publication. Relations between those measures and other characteristics of scientific institutions, including quality of research (scientific category), type of institution and field of research are scrutinized. Despite the fact that formal rules handicapped smaller scientific units, they were not entirely excluded from achieving highest scientific category, though they were clearly more compelled to optimize their staffing. However, there was no clear correlation between employment flexibility and the results of parameterization, as the former was in many cases induced by other functions of the self-designated scientific units. While the government's scientific subsidy (the volume of which depends on scientific category) is still relatively low in Poland and the rules guiding its distribution seem still relatively volatile, many units treat research as a secondary aim (compared to e.g. teaching). This leads to a visible segmentation (or even a “fracture”) in the Polish scientific field. It also partly undermines the role of formal evaluation rules as a stimuli for management of scientific units, hence weakening its purpose as a tool for pursuing certain goals of public policy.


evaluation in science; staffing strategies; employment flexibility; quality of research; reform; public policy

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