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Consent of project leader to ensure responsible conduct of research and scientific integrity*

For distribution of funds of Unity through Knowledge Fund (UKF), the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports (MSES) represented by UKF will take into consideration only those research project applications that conform to the highest international standards of scientific integrity and personal and institutional responsibility in conduct of research and comply with positive regulations of the Republic of Croatia.

Responsible person of organisation and project leader guarantee the implementation and conformity of the research with the stated above in accordance with the Contract on Financing reached with the MSES, as well as the project leader by signing both the Project Proposal Form and the document on Consent of Project Leader.

Only research that meets all the listed criteria of scientific integrity, collegiality, protection of human subjects, protection and care of research animals, integrity toward institution, and social responsibility is considered responsibly conducted research.

1.     Scientific integrity

a)     All researchers on the project are competent in the field of research, as validly substantiated by relevant evidence (letters of reference and curriculum vitae) whose authenticity and validity is guaranteed by the signature of the project leader.

b)     The right to research results, intellectual, proprietary and other rights to the amount or to the relative proportion in which the Ministry funds or participates in funding the research project shall be regulated by the Contract on Financing.

c)      Analysis of the data resulting from the project is correct and in accordance with scientific methodology

d)     Research results in whatever form presented consistently correspond to the research conducted and there is no fabrication, correction or plagiarizing of data, results, ideas, procedures or words in the procedures of proposing, conducting, revising or presenting the research. Research idea and aim stated in the project application are the original work and do not contain in whole or in any part unauthorized appropriation of another person’s ideas, data, results or words.

e)     Only original copyright work in direct connection with the research shall be considered a research report resulting from the research/project, which excludes any form of scientific misconduct, such as auto-plagiarizing and duplicate publications.

2.     Collegiality

a)     Authors and co-authors of all research reports and published work resulting from the research/project fulfil the following criteria: (i) development of research idea and substantial contribution to the concept and design of the research; (ii) data collection, data analysis, or interpretation of research results; and (iii) writing and designing a research report and published work or providing critical revision and final approval of the research report and published work. Author should fulfill at least one condition from each (i), (ii), or (iii) category.

b)     Exchange of information is free, as is use of equipment which is publicly funded.

c)      Mentor relationships arising from the research/project and respective obligations of the mentors and mentorees rest on mutual respect and agreement on intellectual ownership of results, procedures, patents, and similar.

3.     Protection of human subjects

Where possible, every research/project should be approved by a relevant body – institutional ethics committees or similar – where adherence to all relevant international and local laws, regulations, and directives on protection of human subjects is required. In addition to the approvals from competent ethics committees, by this Consent the project leader on the project/research guarantees as follows:

a)     voluntary participation of all human subjects

b)     informed consent from human subjects

c)      confidentiality, secrecy, and anonymity of information on human subjects

d)     cost/benefit ratio favorable to human subjects

4.     Protection/Care of research animals

If experimental animals are used in the research/project, the project leader guarantees the strict abidance to the Animal Protection Act (Narodne novine, No. 135/06) and explicitly describes and confirms the abidance to the Act along with all relevant documentation on procedures, protocols, institution, animal enclosures, manner, and competency in keeping live experimental animals and certificates of competent institutions (ethics committees, authorized veterinarian, and similar).

5.     Integrity in relation to institution

By signing this Consent, the project leaders guarantees as follows:

a)     absence of financial or proprietary conflict of interest and absence of conflict of interest in relation to the parent institution

b)     absence of conflict of loyalty/commitment to parent institution while conducting the research/project, absence of research conducted for private or public institution the scope of which is broader than the scope of regular work or completely prevents the project leader from performing regular work;

c)      familiarity with rules/directions/statutes of the institution proposed as the research site.

6.     Social Responsibility

By signing this Consent, the project leader assumes the social responsibility and:

a)     guarantees adherence to the highest ecological norms and provides a detailed description of environmental (and social) impact and treatment of toxic and other waste produced during research

b)     guarantees that all procedures and materials used in the research/project are pursuant to the positive regulations of the Republic of Croatia.

I, (name of the project leader), the project leader understand all instructions, obligations, and responsibilities relating to public funding of the proposed research project and hereby oblige myself to conduct the proposed research/project adhering to the highest professional standards of which only some are stated above as well as to all positive legislation, rules, and regulations relating to the area and field and subjects/objects of the stated research.

By signing this agreement I confirm that I have read, understood, and accepted everything stated above and that the proposed research/project is in accordance with the obligations, duties, and responsibilities stated, for which I accept full moral, material, and criminal liability

* Prepared according to international documents and regulations by Vedran Katavić from the Zagreb University School of Medicine, Lidija Bilić-Zulle from the Rijeka University School of Medicine, and Mladen Petrovečki from the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES), approved by the National Council for Science.

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