In an effort to grow its scientific workforce and to stimulate international research collaborations, the Russian government is set to pay for thousands of Russian students to attend top universities around the world. But to benefit from the generous scholarships, the students must agree to apply their new-found skills back home — assuming that jobs will be waiting for them when they return.
Vladimir Putin, who took office as president last week following a controversial election, is expected to officially approve the five-billion-rouble (US$165-million) Global Education programme by the end of this month. His pre-election promises included a pledge to substantially increase government funding of science and education (see Nature 483, 253–254; 2012).
The programme will be run by the Strategic Initiatives Agency, a government-funded bureau set up last year with a view to promote social and economic innovation in Russia. The first call for applications should be launched next month, says Dmitry Peskov, who is head of the agency’s division for young professionals and oversees the programme. “We have the means to very generously support up to 2,000 talented Russian students per year,” he says.
Read more here