Despite the measures taken by the Russian government to attract foreign scientists for work in Russian research organizations and universities, the level of incoming academic mobility to Russia remains extremely low. The paper provides quantitative estimates of the number of foreign researchers in different sectors of Russian science, and analyzes the attitude to the experience of their involvement on the part of the leaders of academic organizations. The work is based on the data of the Federal system for monitoring the performance of scientific organizations, as well as interview data with more than one hundred heads of Russian universities and research organizations.
The analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data demonstrates that for Russian organizations, recruitment of foreign scientists is not a usual and widespread practice, and is often considered as a difficult task with non-obvious benefits. This practice differs in its scope and implementations across the R&D sectors. The internationalization process is most active in universities, which are supported by the governmental measures developed specifically for these purposes. Based on the identified barriers, the paper offers several recommendations to increase the involvement of foreign researchers, as this can significantly contribute to the promotion of the country’s integration into the world science.