Commission for Ethics in Science

Founding year

2011

History

The Commission of Research Integrity has been established by the Act of the Parliament of April 2010 on the Polish Academy of Sciences. Candidates for membership are nominated by scientific  institutions and universities. Commission numbers 9 persons, titular professors elected for the  4 year term  by the General Assembly of the Polish Academy of Sciences.  The Commission of Research Integrity is the only institution which can investigate and evaluate cases of research misconduct in the entire country in all scientific units.

ENRIO member since

2012

Structure

Legally based (Act of the Parliament on the Polish Academy of Sciences), part of the Polish Academy of Sciences but working for all science and academic institutions in Poland. The Commission mandate is defined in Art. 39, Act of the Parliament of April 2010 on the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Main Tasks

The major tasks of the Commission for Research Integrity is promotion of good manners in science and expressing opinions on submitted cases concerning a breach of ethics in science by members of staff of higher education institutes , scientific units of the Academy and research institutes.

The Commission deals with cases of alleged misconduct but does not undertake specific investigations, rather trying to identify the specific nature of a problem and urging respective authorities to address and solve a given problem.

The Commission has prepared Code of Conduct of a Scientist published in 2012 and recently updated.

Promoting Research Integrity

The Commission holds periodical meetings in major academic Polish centers meeting with local academic and scientific authorities discussing current major issues related to ethics in science and scientific integrity.

Organization of international seminars addressing current relevant ethical problems (eg May 19, 2017: conference on legal, administrative and ethical aspects of experimental therapy).

Other tasks: Scientific integrity courses

Scientific integrity courses for medical students and PhD students

Contact

Prof. A. Zoll

Commission for Ethics in Science, PKiN
Palace of Culture and Science
pl. Defilad 1
00-901 Warsaw - Poland

+4822-1826115+4822 -1827050

The National Science Centre (NCN)

Founding year

2010

History

NCN is a government agency, supervised by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, set up in 2010.

ENRIO member since

2018

Structure

The organisation consists of two independent bodies: the Council of the NCN and the Director Office. The Council of the NCN is a policy body consisting of 24 distinguished researchers selected from candidates appointed by Polish scientific institutions. The Council sets priority areas in basic research, decides on the type of programmes and specifies call regulations. Its range of competencies also include electing members of the expert teams responsible for proposal evaluations as well as appointing the Director and Discipline Coordinators.
Director of NCN is appointed by the Minister of of Science and Higher Education for the four-year term. Current Director of NCN, prof. Zbigniew Blocki is on his duty since March 4th, 2015. He is the leader of the organization, responsible for financial managements as well as correct and efficient completion of NCN tasks. The Director is also in charge of international cooperation and acts as a legal representative on behalf of the Centre.
NCN Coordinators are scientific officers responsible for organising and conducting calls for proposals for research projects. Their responsibilities also include evaluation of the impartiality of the peer review process.

Main Tasks

The National Science Centre was established to support basic research in Poland in three major areas: The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Life Sciences, The Physical Sciences and Engineering. NCN supports basic research by funding research projects carried out by individual researchers and research teams, both on the domestic and international level, as well as doctoral fellowships and post-doctoral internships. NCN announces calls for proposals four times a year.

Furthermore, the agency is aiming to prevent questionable and unacceptable research practices (at best research misconduct) and to raise awareness by offering lectures and workshops on “good scientific practice” to the research institutions. Additionally, the agency provides advice related to research integrity.

Investigation

The Agency itself has neither arbitrary nor an adjudicative function but its Committee on Research Integrity investigates thoroughly and impartially (alleged) cases of research misconduct and recommends the sanctions. Since September 2016 its work is based on the Rules of Procedure for the Investigation of Alleged Research Misconduct and The Code of  the National Science Centre on Research Integrity and Applying for Research Funding.

Workflow:

Any private individual, institution or an employee of the National Science Centre can inform about alleged research misconduct or address any breaches of research integrity in applications, reports or publications or research funded by NCN.

All the concerns, complaints or allegations are received by the Committee on Research Integrity.

This initiates the Preliminary inquiry done by the members of the Committee on Research Integrity. The Committee on Research Integrity consists of five members: two members of The Council of NCN, including the priest and psychologist, and three employees of the NCN Office, including the lawyer. The Committee works on behalf of the Director of NCN.

This stage of the process essentially asks whether the concern, complaint or allegation, if proven to be true, would amount to research misconduct or a breach of relevant policy or standards for conducting research.

One possible outcome from Preliminary inquiry may be to initiate a research misconduct investigation. The Committee on Research Integrity send a letter to the alleged institution asking for explanations, necessary data or other documents. The judgement is made based on a preponderance of evidence and the decision about the necessity of futher investigation of research misconduct is made.

Then the Investigation starts. Based on the additional documentations provided by the institution or researcher and taking into consideration the aggravating and mitigating factors the Committee reports findings from the investigation with the recommendation about santions for research misconduct . Based on the recommendations Director of NCN  makes the final decision about the sanctions.

Chart Workflow of Investigation NCN

Promoting Research Integrity

Coordinators and Head of Audit and Compliance Team, which at the same time is the member of the Committee on Research Integrity, visit many research institutions and talk about principles of Research Integrity and Responsible Conduct of Research.

In March 2016 NCN launched the The Code of the National Science Centre on Research Integrity and Applying for Research Funding, and since then it is one of the call documents.

Contact

Laura Bandura-Morgan, Ph.D.

Head of Audit and Compliance Team
+48 12 342 9065