Conflicts of interest

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) is committed to ensuring that applications receive a fair and impartial scholarly assessment.

For the assessment to be based on scholarly criteria, it is very important for all members of the review panels to be familiar with RJ’s view of conflicts of interest. Conflict of interest may exist if any circumstance can be identified that erodes confidence in a member’s impartiality, posing a risk that he or she may consider something other than scholarly quality.

This means that all members have the responsibility to voluntarily report conflicts of interest in connection with the assessment of an application. A member has a conflict of interest if the assessment concerns:

  • Applications that include the external reviewer or where the external reviewer may benefit or suffer as a result of a recommendation.
  • Applications from close relatives or close friends/associates of the reviewer or applications where the reviewer’s close relatives or close friends/associates may benefit or suffer.
  • Applications from close colleagues, members of the reviewer’s own research team or from the reviewer’s most immediate department; however, reviewers are not considered to have an automatic conflict of interest for applications from their own department or work units.
  • Applications with particular circumstances that may call into question the impartiality of a reviewer in a specific matter. This can include such aspects as obvious friendship or dislike; financial dependency; supervisor/collegial relationships; or cases in which a reviewer is involved in an application in a manner that easily arouses the suspicion of partisan assessment.

A member informs the chair of their panel by email that a conflict of interest may exist with a copy to the research manager. This is to be done before the meeting so that the entire review panel can jointly determine whether a conflict of interest exists. In other words, the individual member does not determine if there is a question of a conflict.

A member found to have a conflict of interest is to leave the room during discussions of the applications to which the conflict applies. However, if the chair for any reason finds it necessary, a member who has reported a conflict of interest may be asked about facts related to the application before leaving the room.

In addition, review panel members may not apply for grants in the support form they are assessing. This means that if a member assesses RJ Projects in any of the four review panels, the member can be neither an applicant nor a project participant in RJ Projects. However, it is possible to be an applicant or project participant in support forms in which the individual is not involved in the assessment.

Members of RJ’s board may not apply for RJ grants while serving on the board.