The Latvian Council of Science (LCS) since July 1st, 2020 is an institution of direct administration under the supervision of the Minister for Education and Science.
LCS operates in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 408 of June 30, 2020 “Regulations of the Latvian Science Council”, which have been issued in accordance with the Law on Scientific Activity.
The aim of the LCS is to implement the state science and technology development policy, ensure expertise, implementation and supervision of research programs and projects financed from the state budget, as well as from the European Union structural funds and other foreign financial instruments delegated in regulatory enactments.
Historically, the Latvian Science Council (LCS) was established by Decision No. 44 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia of July 3, 1990 “On the Establishment of the Latvian Science Council” to democratize the scientific management system, increase the efficiency of scientific work and ensure maximum efficient use of financial means on the basis of project calls. The main goal of LCS was to promote the development and implementation of science and technology development policy in Latvia in accordance with the direction and requirements of the European Union.
According to Article 14 of the Law on Scientific Activity, until June 30, 2020, LCS was a collegial institution of scientists, which was established as a direct administrative institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Science. The term of office of the Council was three years. LCS operated as a collegial institution on the basis of the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 383 of May 9, 2006 “Regulations of the Latvian Council of Science“.
In accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 151 of April 1, 2020 “On Reorganization and Liquidation of Public Administration Institutions Subordinated to the Ministry of Education and Science”, from July 1, 2020 the functions of implementing the science policy under the LCS and the Administration of Studies and Science have been merged.
As of July 1, 2021, LCS will take over the science and research policy support functions, which are currently implemented by the Science and Research Policy Support Department of the State Education Development Agency.
LCS has a structure with a clear division of functions between units and employees. The Advisory Scientific Board and Expert Commissions are a vital part of LCS.
The structure and work organization of LCS, competency, rights and responsibilities of the director, deputy director and heads of structural units, as well as civil servants and employees are approved in the regulations of the Council.
- strategic implementation of science policy and strategic communication of science;
- planning and implementation of scientific research programs;
- providing scientific expertise for the public and private sectors;
- promotion and coordination of international scientific cooperation.
According to the “Regulations of the Latvian Council of Science“, LCS fulfills the following tasks:
- prepares proposals to the Minister of Education and Science regarding the priorities of the state policy in the development of scientific activity, as well as regarding the issues of the development of the state science and technology development policy;
- promotes the development of a unified state policy in science, research and innovation;
- evaluates proposals and recommendations regarding the system of regulatory enactments regulating scientific activities and provides the Minister of Education and Science the assessment of the said proposals and recommendations, as well as advises on necessary amendments to the system of regulatory enactments regulating scientific activities;
- prepare proposals regarding the quality and efficiency criteria of scientific activity for the evaluation of scientific projects, programs and doctoral studies and submits them to the Minister of Education and Science;
- evaluates the scientific activity and its financial provision in scientific institutions, provides an opinion regarding the establishment, reorganization and liquidation of state scientific institutes and submits the prepared proposals to the Minister of Education and Science;
- evaluates and submits proposals regarding the renewal, maintenance and rational use of scientific infrastructure;
- participates in the determination of the aims and objectives of state research programs, market-oriented research and other state-commissioned research programs;
- develops a methodology and distributes the funds at the disposal of the Latvian Council of Science for the financing of fundamental and applied research by branches of science, as well as makes decisions regarding the financing of fundamental and applied research projects from the state budget;
- performs scientific expertise, forms expert commissions and expert groups for the evaluation of all types of scientific activity projects and program applications and the results of their implementation, including on state research programs, as well as market-oriented and public administration commissioned research projects;
- distributes the funding allocated from the state budget to all types of scientific projects and programs which are partially or fully financed from the state budget funds allocated for scientific activities;
- selects experts from the LCS expert database for the joint evaluation of competing sets of project applications, as well as for the evaluation of the results of the work of scientific activity projects, programs and institutions;
- creates and maintains a database of applications and reports of scientific projects and programs financed from the state budget funds allocated by the Latvian Council of Science, as well as technology transfer projects;
- evaluates the results of scientific activity projects and programs financed from the state budget, prepares and publishes reports on the development of scientific activity in Latvia;
- creates and maintains a database of LCS experts in scientific fields, and ensures its availability;
- on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science, prepares proposals for participation, as well as submits proposals to the Ministry of Education and Science for the delegation of Latvian scientists’ representatives to multilateral international cooperation program committees, and international organizations operating in the field of scientific activity management and science policy making;
- develops and publishes ethical norms for scientific activities;
- implements international research projects concluded on behalf of LCS;
- prepares proposals for the development of the classification of branches of science;
- develops and implements the principles for the prevention of conflicts of interest in the examination of projects and programs;
- evaluates and provides proposals regarding the provision of access to international scientific information resources, including scientific literature and electronic resources;
- coordinates the activities of the European Union and international research and technological development programs in Latvia;
- ensures the recognition of research carried out in Latvia and promotes public understanding of science in the sustainable development of Latvia;
- performs other tasks specified in regulatory enactments regulating scientific activities.