A whistleblower system is in place to report scientific and other misconduct associated with the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Integrity and ethics are key elements of the research process and determine the quality of excellent research according to the highest international standards. The FWF is committed to the guidelines of good scientific practice and internationally established ethical standards in the awarding of its funding. The FWF also makes every effort to identify and clarify any possible misconduct as quickly as possible and to take any necessary corrective measures.

Reporting and clarifying misconduct depends on open communication within the FWF. For this reason, the FWF encourages all researchers and other stakeholders to report any suspected misconduct immediately, particularly in the following areas:

  • Scientific misconduct associated with the FWF
  • Misuse of approved FWF funding
  • Corruption/conflicts of interest associated with the FWF
  • All forms of discrimination

For this purpose, the FWF has established a web-based whistleblowing system based on the EU Whistleblowing Directive and the national Whistleblower Protection Act (HinweisgeberInnenschutzgesetz, HSchG). This tool can be used to quickly and easily report concerns about misconduct and is accessible around the clock and from any location. The anonymity of whistleblowers is fully guaranteed and correctly filed reports offer full protection. If desired, reports can also be submitted in non-anonymized form. Please be aware, however, that deliberate false reports can have consequences under labor law and criminal law.

Please note that the protection offered by the Austrian Whistleblower Protection Act applies only to whistleblowers reporting violations of the law in the categories specified in § 3 (2) to (4) of the HSchG. Other complaints or concerns can be reported, but do not fall within the scope of protection offered by the HSchG. To ensure your legal protection, we will carefully review each report, regardless of the category selected, and initiate appropriate follow-up action as necessary.

If clarifications are necessary after the report has been filed, we hope you understand that it may take some time for us to get back to you.  We may also contact you again if further information is required. We will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.

Further information on research integrity and what to do in the event of suspected scientific misconduct can be found in the section Research Integrity and Research Ethics.

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