check the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak research
facilities after an experiment at the Hefei Institutes of Physical
Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. [Photo/Xinhua]
Around 100 scientific research scholars at the Institute of Nuclear
Energy Safety Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Hefei, capital
of Anhui province, resigned in June, raising eyebrows online about the
sudden large-scale brain drain.
Reports said that those who quit were young permanent researchers,
many of them holding a doctorate's degree and enjoying housing provided
by the institute.
Although the authorities saw nothing amiss in the large-scale
resignations, describing them as mere cases of job-hopping, such
large-scale brain drain can hardly be considered "normal".
Some netizens said the resignations were a fallout of a friction
between the institute and its superior administrator, the Hefei
Institute of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, over
changing of security personnel at the institute. However, that is more
likely to be the proverbial last straw than the real reason why so many
researchers put in their papers.
That most young researchers have joined technological enterprises
after resigning indicates a problem with the institute's research
environment. In recent years, the institute has failed to successfully
apply for large research projects. Not surprisingly, the number of
researchers dipped from 500 in the past to 200 last year; there are just
100 researchers left now. Although most enterprises pay way better than
research institutes, young researchers prefer research institutes
because of the scope and environment for research. It is only when the
environment is damaged that researchers look elsewhere.
Whatever the real reason for the large-scale resignations, the
institute should realize there is a problem with its talent management
strategy and make efforts to undo the same.