BEIJING, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- China's science ministry has announced a 50 percent increase in research funding but some scientists say the money is spread too thinly.
The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology published a list this week of 64 research projects to be funded with a total of $244 million over the next five years, the journal Nature reported Friday.
The funded projects were in six areas -- protein research, quantum technology, nanotechnology, research into developmental and reproductive biology, stem cells and earth science.
"We'd like to establish China among the world's top three competitors in these areas," Fu Xiaofeng, head of the office in the ministry in charge of the program, said.
However, some Chinese scientists complain the funding is spread too thinly among too many research groups in each area.
"As meaningful as this program is for basic research, it's really not that much money when shared between four collaborating research teams and over five years," Liu Mingyao, a stem-cell biologist at East China Normal University in Shanghai, said.
He says his lab will receive about $150,000 a year, only about a third of its annual budget.
"As a result, we depend on various other funding programs to stay afloat," he said.