Employment of Researchers

Working in Europe | Career Development | Latvia

In Latvia, according to the "Law on Scientific Activity", a researcher is a natural person who performs research and who has acquired scientific qualification (a doctoral degree). The status of a scientist shall be determined by his or her scientific qualification, individual achievements in science, and an expert evaluation.


  • a researcher is responsible for the objectivity of the research results and the conclusions drawn on the basis of these results;
  • a researcher is liable for exceeding her competence if, as a consequence, the public is given recommendations that do not arise from the specific results of scientific research;
  • a researcher is liable for fair use of the materials, financial means and information for achieving the set targets;
  • a researcher is not liable for the consequences of further use of the scientific research, except in the following cases: if the researcher herself has used the research results or prepared such for use and if there is an agreement between the researcher and the user of the research results regarding the liability of the researcher.


In Latvia employment of researchers and other academic staff in the institutions of higher education and research institutions is regulated by the “Law on Institutions of Higher Education” and “Law on Scientific Activity”.



You will often encounter references to R1-R4 researchers. These denote career stages in researchers’ careers. This classification aims to communicate the various characteristics that researchers may have throughout their career. It describes four broad profiles that apply to all researchers, independent of where they work – in the private or public sector.

  • R1 - First Stage Researcher (Up to the point of PhD). This profile includes individuals doing research under supervision in industry, research institutes or universities. It includes doctoral candidates.
  • R2 - Recognised Researcher (PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent). Here we are including Doctorate degree (PhD) holders who have not yet established a significant level of independence and researchers with an equivalent level of experience and competence.
  • R3 - Established Researcher (Researchers who have developed a level of independence). This describes researchers who have developed a level of independence.
  • R4 - Leading Researcher (Researchers leading their research area or field). This is a researcher leading his/her research area or field. It would include the team leader of a research group or head of an industry R&D laboratory. In particular disciplines as an exception, leading researchers may include individuals who operate as lone researchers.

Therefore, in Latvia, most assistants and research scientists and some lecturers in HEIs are R1 researchers; part of lecturers, and most of senior research scientists and docents, as well as some associate professors in HEIs are R2-R3 researchers, depending on the level of their qualification; finally, some associate professors and most but not all professors in HEIs are R4 researchers.

Similarly, in research institutions in Latvia, most but not all research assistants are R1 researchers; most but not all researchers in research institutions are R2-R3 researchers; and most but not all senior researchers in research institutions are R4 researchers.

Read more about the research profile descriptors HERE.

For detailed information please see: