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TSU – A Brief Overview of Scientific Activity and Grants

Looking at the dynamics of projects submitted for scientific grant competitions it is obvious that TSU scholars stand out. The number of grants awarded to projects over the past two years to the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) significantly exceeds that of previous years. More than 300 projects are being implemented at TSU, including at least 250 national and 46 international projects. The 2013 budget of the university envisaged some 23,837,000 GEL, or 35.8% of the total budget for research activity. The 2014 figures show an increase according to preliminary data. According to the Thomson Reuters database, TSU scholars published 354 scientific papers in highly respected/impact factor journals in 2013. The same year 45 doctoral degrees were awarded at TSU.

The main sources of financing for scientific research are government and international science grants, which TSU scholars obtain through corresponding competitions. As the 2014 data of the TSU Department of Scientific Research and Development shows, the total value of projects that won competitions comprise 7.9 million GEL, and includes 179,177 GEL co-funding by the TSU.

In 2013, TSU employees took part in a number of competitions such as the state science grants competitions for fundamental and applied research (FR, AR); the government grants competitions for joint research with Georgian compatriots working abroad (DI); a competition for the purchase of scientific-research equipment (AP); a science grant competition for the research of Georgian material and spiritual heritage abroad (ME); the 2013 state science grant competition “Georgian Electronic Vocabularies” (LE); a conference grants competition (CG); a winter school funding sub-program; the Presidential science grants competition for young researchers (PG); the doctoral program grants competition (DO); the fifth and the sixth joint competitions organized for the Targeted Research and Development Program by the Science and Technology Center of Ukraine and the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation (MTCU - SRNSF); a joint SRNSF and CNRS competition; a joint competition of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation and Germany’s Forschungszentrum Jülich; and a joint education program grants competition; TEMPUS IV 6 competition.

According to the results of almost all competitions, TSU leads in both number and amounts of projects funded. The dynamics of projects submitted by TSU to scientific competitions announced by the Georgian National Science Foundation and the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation show that TSU scholars continue to be distinguished for being very active, and the number of grants awarded to them in the past two years significantly exceeds previous years: in 2006 some 180 projects were submitted with only 22 financed; in 2007 out of 142 projects, 23 received funding; in 2008 163 were submitted and 35 funded; 2009 saw the funding of 29 projects out of 129 submitted; in 2011, after these two principle foundations merged, 334 projects were submitted though only 21 projects received funding; in 2012, some 71 projects out of 296 submitted were financed while in 2013, 48 out of 270 were funded.

State science grants to support fundamental research in 2013 were awarded to a total of 86 projects of which 33 projects were submitted by TSU scholars and one co-authored by the TSU. By the number of projects awarded grants, TSU is far ahead of other Georgian universities. The scientific work at TSU is carried out by faculties as well as by 16 scientific-research institutes. According to 2013 data, projects awarded grants include 13 projects by TSU institutes and 14 by TSU faculties. The leader among the faculties having secured grants for their projects in competitions for fundamental research is the Faculty for Exact and Natural Sciences. The leaders among institutes are the TSU Andronikashvili Institute of Physics and the TSU Rustaveli Institute.

The 2013 state science grants competition to support applied research was successful for TSU – out of total 27 projects financed, nine were submitted by TSU scholars (see diagram № 4). The highest number of projects won by TSU was authored by scholars of TSU faculties, followed by the TSU Melikishvili Institute of Physics and Organic Chemistry and the TSU Tvalchrelidze Institute of Mineral Resources. The 2013 state grants competitions for joint research with Georgian compatriots working abroad resulted in financing for 12 projects, including seven submitted by TSU. Among these, the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences and the TSU Andronikashvili Institute of Physics are also in the lead. Out of 89 grant applications in the competition to purchase scientific equipment, 22 were from TSU. Among the projects that won, six were authored and one co-authored by TSU.

The results of the 2013 science grant competition for the research of Georgian material and spiritual heritage abroad saw two out of six grants awarded to TSU scholars. The 2013 state grant competition “Georgian Electronic Vocabularies” saw TSU win one out of four grants. The results of conference grants competition showed that 11 projects of 31 awarded were submitted by TSU. The winter school financing subprogram of the Support to Higher Educational Institution Program run by the Georgian Ministry of Education and Sciences allocated funding to a total of eight projects of which four were from TSU.

Presidential science grants for young scholars allocated 69 grants in total – 41 for doctoral and 28 for master’s degree studies. Of these, 23 were received by TSU (15 for doctoral and eight for master’s degree studies). According to the results of doctoral degree program grants competitions in 2013-2014, the total of 252 projects submitted saw 135 awarded. TSU submitted 99 projects of which 60 projects secured funding.

From 144 projects submitted to MTCU-SRNSF, 20 projects were from TSU. A total of nine projects were awarded grants, including four from TSU. According to the results of a competition announced in 2013 within the framework of a joint program of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), three projects were announced as winners of which two were from TSU.

The 2013 competition announced under a joint research and educational program of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation and Germany’s ForschungszentrumJülich, awarded grants to all three projects submitted, one of which was from TSU. The TEMPUS IV 6th call, saw a total of 55 projects submitted and 19 projects funded, including 11 that will be implemented with the participation of TSU.