Employment of Researchers
According to 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.
- to ensure the objectivity of scientific research;
- to inform the public about the results of the research, to provide consultations and expert opinions;
- to promote scientific breakthroughs and insights;
- to improve her scientific qualifications and participate in the education of new scientists;
- to terminate scientific research that, in the opinion of the scientist, may cause threat to human kind, society or nature and inform the public accordingly;
- to participate in the improvement and development of the of the educational system.
- 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 researcheris 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.
The researcher shall have exclusive intellectual property rights resulting from her scientific activity, unless the contract provides otherwise. A state scientific institution shall have the material rights to an invention or plant variety if it is fully created as a result of a state-funded research pursuant to the procedures set out in the operational rules (see Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)).
In Latvia employment of researchers and other academic staff in the institutions of higher education and research institutions in Latvia are regulated by the “Law on Institutions of Higher Education” and “Law on Scientific Activity”.
An HEI have the following academic positions:
- professor (internationally recognized expert in his/ her field who performs scientific research or artistic creation at a contemporary level and ensures high-quality studies in the field of science or art. A person elected in the post of a professor shall have a doctoral degree and at least 3 years of experience as an Associate Professor)
- associate professor;
- docent (persons with a doctoral degree);
- senior research scientist;
- lecturer (persons with a doctorate or master’s degree);
- research scientist;
- assistant (persons with a doctorate or master’s degree).
University academic staff carries out scientific research and participates in educating the undergraduates and the he university determines the scope for each of these activities.
The employment contract for an academic position is concluded by the rector of the HEI for the period of election - 6 years. A person may be elected to only one academic position and only in one HEI. 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.
The academic staff of the HEI receives annual paid 8 week leave and every 6 years - paid 6 month academic leave for scientific research or carrying out scientific work outside their place of work. Academic staff is entitled to receive a single, paid 3 month study leave for the preparation of doctoral thesis.
Visiting Professors, Visiting Docents and Visiting Lecturers. If there is a academic position vacancy or a temporary vacancy in an HEI 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 is announced by publishing an announcement in the official newspaper “Latvijas Vēstnesis”.
The RI 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 6 years to academic positions as a result of an open competition in accordance with the procedures specified in the by-law of a research institution.
Participation of Foreign Researchers in Scientific Research Projects Implemented by the RI.
RI registered in the Register of Research Institutions are entitled to invite third-country nationals to participate in the scientific research projects implemented by them if the person 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 research 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.
The equation of a foreign degree is carried out pursuant to international agreements binding to Latvia (see Recognition of Diploma and Qualification).
A research institution may host leading visiting researchers and visiting researchers. Such researchers are recruited without election and the employment contract is concluded for a period of not more than 2 years.
- Ministry of Education and Science
- Ministry of Welfare
- State Labour Inspectorate - 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 - to inform the people about occupational safety and health.
- Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (LBAS) - protects the interests of professional trade union members and employees on the branch and inter-branch level.
- Education and Science Workers Trade Union – protects the interests of professional trade union members and employees.