Chemical Analytical Lab (Plant, Soil, and Water Testing Lab):This comprehensive laboratory applies many new techniques and tools of analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, biological chemistry and microbiology to analyze macro- and micro-elements, organic compounds and biological parameters in plant, soil, water, food products and animal feeds. Laboratory technicians also conduct research on developing new testing methods for micro-morphological observations and food product safety. The laboratory also conducts workshops to train scientists and graduate students, provides technical consultation for the institute and the general public, and supports the research work of scientists and students.
With an area of 2,000 m2, this laboratory is equipped with a set of more than 130 instruments.
Center for Scientific Information: The Institute in Shenyang is a nodal point of the China Science and Technology Network. The network environment has been upgraded to IPV6 (International Protocol Version 6). Using the high-speed China Science and Technology Network, we have obtained two research projects: “Construction of Northeast China Flora and Their Habitat Database” and “Network Environment Construction of Changbai Mountain Forest Ecosystem Research Station”. Geographical information systems for regional forests and soils in Northeast China are currently under construction.
Academic Journals: Our institute publishes two Chinese ecology journals ¾ the Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology and the Chinese Journal of Ecology. They rank at the top of the Chinese ecological journals in terms of impact factor and total citations. In 2012, an international, open access journal, Ecological Processes, was launched with Springer.
Strategic studies that clearly define our innovative goals: The goals of the institute are to conduct cutting edge research projects geared toward the needs of the nation and on the frontiers of world science. Major resources will be allocated to projects that will generate breakthrough results, such as carbon cycling in forest and agricultural ecosystems under global change, enhancement of nutrient use efficiency in the majoragricultural areas of Northeast China, and pollution control in the Liaohe River Basin.
Refining academic goals and adjusting research activities: The strategic development of the institute should aim at constructing research clusters related to ecological security, restoration of polluted sites and modern agriculture. Additional resources will be allocated to field stations, botanical gardens and the herbarium. We also plan to construct a large laboratory for storing samples of soils and organisms.
Restructuring of institute organizations: The Institute has recently been restructured to include five research centers for forests, agriculture, environment, biotechnology and regional development. The primary research focus of the State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology is to study the carbon balance in forest and agricultural ecosystems under global change. The State Laboratory of Soil Nutrient Management Engineering will provide important support to studies aimed at increasing food production in the region, and the CAS Key Laboratory of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering will ensure the success of research programs for cleaning up polluted areas in Northeast China.
Sharpening the focus of resource allocation mechanisms
To accomplish our mission and to move forward in the aforementioned research directions, the resources of the Institute will be allocated to establish new platforms, add new facilities and to support research groups so they may effectively contribute to the realization of our goals. We will pool our resources to support the State Key Laboratory of Forest and Soil Ecology, the State Laboratory of Nutrient Management Engineering, and the CAS Key Laboratory of Pollution Ecology and Environmental Engineering. The major criteria for allocating resources include scientific merit and the promotion of scientific leadership in addressing environmental problems in Northeast China; enhancing our capability of developing new fertilizer formulas; developing new treatment methodologies for polluted sites; and promoting technology transfer of new fertilizers and biotechnologies.
At the same time, resource allocation should reflect the research characteristics of the Institute with the purpose of nurturing new and competitive research programs, recruiting new talent and training future academic leaders.
Refining Performance Evaluation
Compensation for staff includes regular monthly pay, premium and performance awards. This tripartite salary system needs to be adjusted. We will increase the proportion of performance awards. Scientific leaders will be rewarded to a greater degree relative to those at the same rank who may be doing ordinary noncreative research.
Academic Performance Evaluation Policy
In accordance with the “Innovation 2020” strategy and “Road Map of Science and Technology Development of CAS, 2000–2050”, our evaluative principle encompasses short-term performance evaluation and long-term accomplishments. We will reconcile the former with long-term development of the Institute, encouraging scientific innovation and tolerance of scientific failures. Special evaluative criteria should be applied to areas of new research directions and potential research breakthroughs.
Creating A Stronger Institutional Culture
We will formulate new policies based on the “CAS Charter” and “Administration Rules of the CAS Institutes” to gradually improve our policies in research organization, academic evaluation and resource allocation. The following guiding principles form the basis for this new policy formulation: (1) Operative Institute governance, that is, rule by law; (2) Inheritance of the Institute’s spirit of working with vigor, continuing innovation, and a combination of competition, cooperation and harmonious development; (3) An Institute of continuing learning and morally responsible staff; (4) Encouragement of academic faithfulness, and resistance to misconduct and plagiarism.