Conflicts of interest in the assessment of research applications - External researchers

12/6/2017

It is particularly important for Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) that submitted applications receive a fair and impartial scientific assessment. The principles for this assessment shall be clear and transparent, particularly those concerning the foundation’s treatment of conflicts of interest.

A conflict of interest may exist if circumstances can be identified that call into question the impartiality of an external reviewer, thus implying the risk that he or she may demonstrate inappropriate partiality.

It is consequently the responsibility of the reviewers to voluntarily report conflicts of interest in connection with the evaluation of applications. Reporting should be made if processing involves:

  • An application in which the external reviewer is included or whether he or she may benefit or be damaged as a result of a recommendation.
  • Applications from close relatives or related parties of reviewers or in which the application may benefit or damage a close relative or related party of the reviewer.
  • Applications from close colleagues, members of the reviewer’s own research team or of the reviewer’s closest institutional environment; however, reviewers are not considered to be partial, per definition, as regards applications from, for example, their own institutes or work units.
  • Applications in which particular circumstances are present that may call into question the impartiality of a reviewer in one specific matter. These include such aspects as obvious friendship or dislike; dependency relating to economic circumstances; superior/subordinate relationships; or cases in which a reviewer is involved in an application in a manner that easily arouses the suspicion of partisan assessment.

Conflicts of interest shall be reported by e-mail to relevant staff at the Foundation.