The Russian government plans to lay off 10,000 researchers in the next three years, ScienceInsider reports.
Most of the cuts will involve Russian Academy of Sciences institute researchers and will affect some 17 percent of the RAS workforce, ScienceInsider adds. It notes that this announcement is part of an effort by the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations to streamline the academy; a number of institutes will also be merged.
Some 150 researchers from RAS criticized the changes in a letter last month to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ScienceInsider further reports. The researchers argued that the changes are tarnishing the image of Russian science around the world, will lead young researchers to leave the country, and will increase bureaucracy. The letter-writers call for FASO to be placed under the auspices of RAS.
A Kremlin spokesperson tells ScienceInsider that the government is aware of researchers' concerns, though he adds that the reforms are having "positive results" and will continue.