Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)
The Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) was launched in 1992 as a self-governed state nonprofit organisation that is controlled by the Government of the Russian Federation. This organisational form was novel for the Russian science and provided an opportunity for scientists to personally choose their target projects in various research fields and establish own research groups.
The mission of the Foundation is to establish successful collaboration between the state and scientists by supporting projects of the latter in the major fields of basic research. In its work, the Foundation relies on the principles of fair competition, openness, non-interference approach and addressee-specific funding. Being a representative of the state, the Foundation provides diversified support to leading groups of scientists regardless of the organisation they represent. The principal activity of the Foundation lies in organization of competitions of prospective projects conducted by small groups of scientists or by individual researchers. The RFBR provides financial and organisational support for the best prospective projects in scientific research across all fundamental science fields that are picked strictly on a competition basis after a comprehensive evaluation.
The Foundation relies on outsourced services for reviewing all incoming applications - it cooperates with independent practicing experts mainly with Doctorate degree from all regions of Russia. So far, over 260 thousand people have submitted their applications to the Foundation, and more than 200 thousand performers have participated in projects approved by the RFBR in all competitions.
The Foundation holds competitions for prospective projects in oriented and targeted fundamental research on top of organising regional competitions, joint competitions with CIS countries and competitions for supporting mobility of young scientists. The RFBR supports the following scientific directions:
• Mathematics, mechanics, and information technology;
• Physics and astronomy;
• Chemistry and studies of materials;
• Biology and medical science;
• Earth sciences;
• Humanities and social sciences;
• Information technology and computer systems;
• Fundamental basics of engineering sciences.
Additionally, the RFBR actively fosters international scientific cooperation through organising:
• Competitions for joint fundamental research projects proposed by Russian and foreign scientists;
• Competitions for projects on supporting participation of Russian scientists in conferences and meetings that are held abroad.
The geography of the Foundation’s international competitions reflects already active cooperation with over 32 foreign partners from 25 countries, among which European countries predominate, along with the countries where fundamental research in natural sciences is intensively conducted. In accordance with the partner foundations’ agreements, some of these countries infrequently hold joint competitions and can limit the available scope to one or two types of competitions. The Foundation has developed an extensive collaboration experience with Germany, France and China. Special attention is given to international projects leading to innovation breakthroughs in various research fields.
The Foundation’s efforts are internationally recognised and represent an effective form for integration of Russian researchers into the global scientific arena.