Integrated into BRIN, Eijkman Institute is now Eijkman Research Center

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Laksana Tri Handoko
Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency Laksana Tri Handoko. Photo: NET

IO – The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology has operating for almost three decades before being merged into the National Research and Innovation Agency (Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional, or BRIN). Before the merger, Eijkman was under the auspices of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education.

Eijkman was one of the units merged into BRIN. The four others include the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), the National Aeronautics and Space Institute (LAPAN), the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).

“With the integration of the Research and Technology Ministry and four Non-Ministerial Government Institutions into BRIN, Eijkman Institute has been officially institutionalized as Eijkman Molecular Biology Research Center, under the Life Sciences Research Organization,” said Head of BRIN Laksana Tri Handoko, Sunday (1/2/2022).

The integration of five main research entities in Indonesia – BATAN, LAPAN, LIPI, BPPT and the Research and Technology Ministry – is mandated in Presidential Decree No. 78/2021 concerning the National Research and Innovation Agency, including the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology.

This integration will empower Eijkman, which used to be a project unit at the Research and Technology Ministry. “In the future, researchers at Eijkman Research center will not be limited to former Eijkman employees, but also researchers from the five integrated entities,” he explained.

Handoko said Eijkman Institute was not listed as an official government institution but only as an ad hoc unit under the Ministry of Research and Technology, focusing on molecular biology research.

“When other researchers at BRIN collaborate, Eijkman Research Center will have more prominent activities, such as surveillance and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). They will be integrated for higher capacity at a much lower cost,” he added.

This integration will benefit Eijkman Institute’s employees, because they can be appointed as researchers at Eijkman Research Center. For research staff with honorarium payments, BRIN provides them with several options, depending on their employment status.

“For those who have completed a doctoral education, I can take them on as BRIN civil servants, which has been done since October 2021 through the civil servant employment mechanism in 2021. Those who are over 40 years old are appointed as Government Employees under a Work Agreement while those under 40 are hired as regular civil servants,” he said.

For those who have not completed the doctoral level, Handoko offers a doctoral scheme through a research program. They will have a research assistant while completing the doctoral program, and when it is finished, they can be recruited as BRIN civil servants.

According to Handoko, there are no more than 40 researchers at Eijkman Research Center, and the remainder are employees on an honorarium basis or non-civil servant government employees (PPNPN). PPNPN’s appointment must comply with the regulations and obtain clearance from the staffing agency. The government regulation rules that PPNPN’s working period is a maximum of one year, as stated in the contract, extendable for another year.

“Issues arising with PPNPN employees who cannot extend their work contracts when integrating with BRIN does not only occur at Eijkman, but also at other entities – LIPI, BPPT, BATAN, LAPAN and the Research and Technology Ministry,” said Handoko. (eka)