Shortage of scientists in Spain

60,000 New Scientists Needed in Spain over the next 4 years

Carlos Martínez, the president of the Spanish High Council for Scientific Research (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas -CSIC) said yesterday that Spain needs around 50,000 to 60,000 new scientists over the next 4 years and that this requirement would almost certainly have to be filled by scientists recruited from outside the country.

He also said that the CSIC was in negotiations with the government a project called Genius Programme 2010. The main aim of this project is to secure the state’s commitment to spend 2% of Spain’s GDP on research programmes.

Martínez sees two major challenges ahead: the internationalization of Spanish researchers and the need for a university degree course in research which was included in the Spanish Socialist Party’s manifesto prior to the last elections. He said that the degree in research already existed in draft form and that he hoped that this would also be implemented when a new law on agencies comes into effect.

When speaking about the need for more scientists and researchers in Spain he said that Spain needed to participate more in international organizations and that it would be beneficial if Spanish scientists occupied important posts in the international arena. According to Martínez’s calculations there are just 5.5 scientists for every 1000 Spanish inhabitants which is 35% less than the European average. The leader of CSIC told media sources that the majority of the country’s scientists worked in Spanish universities and that there was a clear need for greater financial support for other research organisations. He also claimed that the current shortage in Spanish scientists meant that institutions often had to recruit from abroad.