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National Center for Scientific Research was founded under a decree of the Revolutionary Council (on coordinating, centralizing and integrating national research centers and organizations of Iran and their budgets) in 1979. The approval of this decree was simultaneous with the Cultural Revolution and the closure of universities and higher education centers and the reflection of its related problems in the former Ministry of Culture and Higher Education at that time which prevented its activities.
After reopening the universities and renewing educational and research activities, there was a strong need to carry out basic and applied research in order to gain scientific and industrial independence. The need originated from the consequences of the imposed War with Iraq. Therefore, its constitution and duties were drawn up by the former Ministry of Culture and Higher Education in order to realize the desired goals, reviewing and identifying research needs and determining research priorities of the country, offering scientific and technological services and establishing scientific cooperation and communication with national and foreign scientific research centers and coordination between various research centers, and submitted to the State Scientific Research Council which was approved and delivered in 1983.
According to this approval it was renamed “State Scientific Research Center” and the budget was allocated to it by the Islamic Parliament in the same year. It was agreed that according to its duties, the organizational chart of the State Scientific Research Center would prepare by the Center’s President and to be ratified by the State Organization for Administrative and Employment Affairs after being confirmed by the State Scientific Research Council. Of course, this article of the law was not implemented until 1991.
The statutes, organizational chart and duties of the State Scientific Research Center as a research center was approved by the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education in 1991 and this research center started its activities under the auspices of Research Deputy of the former Ministry of Culture and Higher Education with the following five research groups; Research Recognition and Assessment, Research Planning and Coordination, International Studies, Science Policy, and Publications and Research.
Again, the Center was renamed as National Research Institute for Science Policy of Iran (NRISP) in 2001 and its constitution was changed in 2004 because of the establishment of the Supreme Council of Science, Research and Technology and became independent of the Research Deputy of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and its missions and scientific groups were defined according to the needs of the Supreme Council of Science, Research and Technology. It was agreed that NRISP would play a cross sectional role as a think thank along with the above -mentioned Council in the field of research policy and policy making of science, research and technology at national level. At present, this Research Center with seven research groups namely; Popularization of Science, Futures Studies, Economics of Science, Scientometrics, Science and Society, Science Policy and Ethics of Science and Technology has important tasks including: the identification of the tree of knowledge and to study for determining the country’s optimal share of it in the future, research in localization of scientific methods of assessing science and technology and determining the status quo by using them, recognizing the problems of the state scientific system by focusing on research and technology fields through cross sectional approach and decision making, policy making and developing strategies to achieve the desired status, to study and provide appropriate methods to popularize science in line with scientific development policies and programs, conducting fundamental, applied and developmental research on the basis of its missions and with a special focus on policy making, planning, monitoring and assessing.