Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation
The system of education and science in Georgia has been subject to substantial and radical reform efforts since the beginning of 2004. End goals of the transformation process of the system are to establish knowledge-based economy and create fully competitive environment where all individuals have equal opportunities for development. Strategies chosen to achieve these goals are: promoting transparency and accountability, curbing corruption, supporting decentralization and respecting individual choice.
Major innovation in science sector has been the introduction of a new science funding scheme whereby all scientific, research and higher education institutions, non-governmental organization, as well as individual scholars and groups of scholars have an opportunity to get public funding for research on the basis of open transparent competition.
Rustaveli Foundation is the State agency responsible for implementing this new funding approach in the wide area of Georgian Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences. The following report summarizes the activities implemented by the latter in 2009, provides basic quantitative and qualitative performance indicators and financial activity account as well as plans for future.
Rustaveli Foundation was established in May 2007 on the basis of the governmental decree. Rustaveli Foundation is a Legal Entity of Public Law, responsible for the ongoing reform in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences in Georgia. It is the body established to run State Grants Competition system, which is one of the essential mechanisms for eff ective implementation of science reform in Georgia. Rustaveli Foundation is one of the largest state social sciences and humanities research foundations in the Caucasus.
The mission of the foundation is to provide fi nancial support through state funding to encourage the development of research in Georgian studies, humanities and social sciences in Georgia. The Foundation aims at the systemic integration of Georgian science in international research area through open competitions and international review of research projects.
The need to include Georgian Studies as a separate area for research in the Foundation’s agenda was determined by the overarching importance of maintaining and transmitting spiritual and historical heritage of the country on the one hand, and developing new approaches and views of point through research on the other.
In line with previous work and experience of the Foundation, its operational principles remain the same: all competitions and activities are administered on the principles of competitiveness, integrity and transparency. Evaluation of the project proposals submitted for the State Grants Competition, Presidential Grants for Young Scholars Competition, Electronic Dictionaries Competition and Thematic Competition are selected on the basis of reviews and evaluations of local and international independent experts. Applications in other grant competitions are selected by special panels consisting of scholars of the relevant scientific field. These panels are specially created for each specific competition. Projects and applications selected by experts and special committees are approved by the Scientific Board of the Foundation.
Information regarding the competitions and events organized by the Foundation is shared with public and interested stakeholders on a regular basis. The Foundation website www.rustaveli.org.ge regularly updates information about ongoing competitions, completed projects, competition winners, etc.
Academic and moral integrity remain key principles for all activities implemented by the Foundation.