Country Listing

China Table of Contents


Research Institutes

In the late 1980s, most Chinese researchers worked in specialized research institutes rather than in academic or industrial enterprises. The research institutes, of which there were about 10,000 in 1985, were, like their Soviet exemplars, directed and funded by various central and regional government bodies. Their research tasks were, in theory, assigned by higher administrative levels as part of an overall research plan; the research plan was, in theory, coordinated with an overall economic plan. Research institutes were the basic units for the conduct of research and the employment of scientists, who were assigned to institutes by government personnel bureaus. Scientists usually spent their entire working careers within the same institute. Research institutes functioned as ordinary Chinese work units, with the usual features of lifetime employment, unit control of rewards and scarce goods, and limited contact with other units not in the same chain of command (see Work Units , ch. 3). Each research institute attempted to provide its own staff housing, transportation, laboratory space, and instruments and to stockpile equipment and personnel. The limited channels for exchanges of information with other institutes often led to duplication or repetition of research.

Data as of July 1987