Employment of Researchers

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The Status of Scientist and Academic Positions 
Participation of Foreign Researchers in Scientific Research Projects 
Institutions

The specificity of employment of the teaching staff and researchers in the institutions of higher education and research centres in Latvia is regulated mainly by the “Law on Scientific Activity” (2005) and the “Law on Institutions of Higher Education” (1995), while common regulation of labour relations is regulated by the “Labour Law” (2001) and other legislative acts.

The Status of Scientist, Academic Positions in Scientific Institutes and in Institutions of Higher Education

According to "Law on Scientific Activity", a scientist is a natural person who performs scientific activity and who has acquired scientific qualification in accordance with the procedures specified in this Law. The status of a scientist shall be determined by his or her scientific qualification, individual achievements in science, and an expert evaluation.

Scientific qualification shall be certified by a doctoral degree in science conferred by the Council for the Conferral of a Doctoral Degree in Science (Promotion Council). The equalisation of academic degrees acquired in foreign states shall take place in accordance with international agreements binding on Latvia. A Doctor Habilitus has the rights of a doctor of the relevant scientific field.

A scientific institute and a commercial company that performs scientific activity shall have the following academic positions:

  • senior researcher (persons with a doctoral degree);
  • researcher (persons with a doctoral or a master degree);
  • research assistant.

Persons shall be elected for six years to academic positions as a result of anopen competition in accordance with the procedures specified in the by-law of a scientific institute or the articles of association of a commercial company.

An institution of higher education shall have the following academic positions:

  • professor (person with a doctoral degree *);
  • associate professor (person with a doctoral degree *,**);
  • docent (person with a doctoral degree *,**);
  • senior research scientist (person with a doctoral degree);
  • lecturer (person with a doctoral or a master degree  *,**);
  • research scientist (person with a doctoral or a master degree);
  • assistant (person with a doctoral or a master degree *,**);

* inapplicable to art specialities; ** inapplicable to professional study programmes.

Persons shall be elected for six years to academic positions. An open competition shall be announced for vacant professor and associate professor positions. Senior research scientists and research scientists may be elected for the conducting of scientific research work in faculties and institutes in accordance with requirements for academic positions in a scientific institute. A person may be elected to only one academic position and only in one institution of higher education or college. A person elected to such position may perform academic work in another institution of higher education or college in the position of visiting professor, visiting docent or visiting lecturer. A person elected to such position may be at the same time elected also to the position of a senior researcher or researcher.

Visiting Professors, Visiting Docents and Visiting Lecturers. If there is a academic position vacancy or a temporary vacancy in an institution of higher education or college, the institution may hire a visiting professor, a visiting docent or a visiting lecturer for a time period of up to two years. Visiting professors, visiting docents and visiting lecturers have the same rights, duties and remuneration as professors, associate professors, docents and lecturers, but they may not participate in the activities of the elected management bodies.

The open competitions shall be announced by publishing an announcement in the newspaper “Latvijas VÄ“stnesis” (in Latvian !, http://www.vestnesis.lv/). 

Participation of Foreign Researchers in Scientific Research Projects Implemented by a Latvian Scientific Institution

Scientific institutions registered in the Register of Scientific Institutions are entitled to invite third-country nationals to participate in the scientific research projects implemented by them, who are not citizens of the European Union if he or she has a doctor of science degree or a higher education degree necessary for the acquisition of a doctor of science degree. In such case, the scientific institution shall enter into an employment contract with the foreign researcher in which the conditions for the implementation of the research project are provided for. The employment contract shall be signed by an authorised person of the scientific institution and the foreign researcher. The employment contract shall entered into for the time of the implementation of the scientific research project and may not exceed the term of validity of the temporary residence permit issued to the foreign researcher. The employment contract shall be terminated if the foreign researcher has been refused a renewal of the residence permit in Latvia or also it is cancelled.

Institutions

Ministry of Education and Science (http://www.izm.gov.lv/)

State Labour Inspectorate (under the supervision of the Ministry of Welfare) (http://www.vdi.gov.lv/) - a state supervisory and control institution to carry out the activities in order to ensure an effective implementation of the government policy in the field of labour legal relationship, labour protection, as well as the technical supervision of the dangerous equipment.

Latvian Focal point of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (http://osha.lv/) - to inform the people about occupational safety and health.

Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS) (http://www.lbas.lv/) -protects the interests of professional trade union members and employees on the branch and inter-branch level.

Education and Science Workers Trade Union (http://www.lizda.lv/).


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Page last updated:29.09.2014