More like climbing from a deep pit, along with countries like Bulgaria or Albania. Not so much a matter of (lack of) science funding, but one of corrupt people in charge. That is what Romanians should be looking to fix.
From where I'm sitting at (the Netherlands), "Romanian" equates to "shady / criminal bunch". An example: just in the few days around Amsterdam's Gay Pride, 46 pickpockets were arrested (!). 43 of those of Romanian nationality.
There are several types of crime where some groups are named often, in particular Romanians and Bulgarians. Again, again, and again. They seem to have some specialties like burglary, pickpocketing, and ATM skimming. But also violent crimes like extortion, human trafficking, drug-related offenses etc. Often organized, travelling groups of people that 'do their thing' a few weeks here, a few weeks there, and then move on.
IMHO the country shouldn't have been let into the EU (yet), but they have. As a result, many of those poor folks make their way to richer EU countries and make a dishonest living. Getting caught (or even prison time) isn't much of a deterrent given the conditions back home. I'm sure Romania is a great country, with great people, most of those honest and hard working. But that's how things currently are, sadly. So a story like this doesn't surprise me one bit.