The Ombudsperson or research grievance ombudsman acts as an independent mediating agent in the face of a suspicion of possible scientific misconduct or professional conflicts. This figure ensures compliance with the Code of Good Research Practices and acts to ensure the integrity of the institution’s research. He will chair and collaborate with the Research Integrity Committee of the IIB Sant Pau (CIR-IIB Sant Pau) and will act as a mediator between the institute’s research staff who detect possible scientific misconduct and any suspected person. This position guarantees independence from other institutional bodies, the confidentiality of the institute’s actions and proven experience in the scientific world.

The board of directors of the Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute – IIB Sant Pau, has unanimously appointed, on June 9, 2022, Prof. Josep Santaló as research ombudsperson of the IIB Sant Pau, at the proposal of the institute’s management.

Objectives of the Ombudsperson

  1. Ensure compliance with the Code of Good Scientific Practices
  2. Scientific self-monitoring and, where appropriate, the disclosure of violations of the rules established in the Code of Good Scientific Practices.

Functions of the Ombudsperson

  • Chair the IIB Research Integrity Committee (CIR-IIB) by right linked to the position which will meet at least once a year.
  • Collaborate with the CIR-IIB which will provide the necessary support
  • Act as a mediator between the institute’s research staff who detect possible scientific misconduct* and any person suspected of this misconduct.
  • Guarantee independence with respect to other institutional bodies, the confidentiality of their actions and proven experience in the scientific world.

Duration of the mandate

The duration of the position is 3 years, renewable for another 2 years, if considered.

*Scientific misconduct includes acts such as:

  • Fabrication, forgery or plagiarism
  • Misappropriation of ideas
  • Incorrect authorship
  • Disloyal conduct
  • Discrimination
  • Abuse of power
  • Lack of information or refusal to provide it
  • Incorrect procedures

The IIB Sant Pau ombudsperson: Professor Josep Santaló

Professor Josep Santaló is Professor of Cell Biology at the Faculty of Biosciences of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where he teaches Cell Biology, Reproductive Biology and Bioethics. He has been general coordinator of Biology studies, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Vice-Chancellor of Research at this university.

His research has focused on the genetic characterization and freezing of mammalian preimplantation embryos, with the development of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis participating in the pioneering group that established it in Spain, oocyte maturation in vitro, animal production transgenics, nuclear reprogramming and the derivation of embryonic stem cells in mice and humans. He is co-author of 120 articles in scientific journals, 70 indexed and 20 book chapters. He has participated in 26 funded research projects, 14 of which as principal investigator.

He is a member of the Observatory of Bioethics and Law of the University of Barcelona and of the Ethics Committee for Animal and Human Research and of the Biosafety Committee of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, which he chaired for more than 10 years, as well as from the Hinxton Group: An International Consortium on Stem Cells, Ethics and Law. He has been the editor of the Code of Good Scientific Practices of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

He has also been a member of the Advisory Committee of ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology) and other societies such as ASEBIR (Association for the Study of the Biology of Reproduction), the International Society

The appointment coincides with the update of the “Code of Good Scientific Practices” which is now called the “Code of Good Research Practices”. The new version has been updated and adapted to the CERCA code of conduct and includes, among other improvements, wording with inclusive language, the RRI principles and the institute’s RRI plan, as well as various legal aspects and institutional. The new code is also aligned with the mandatory European scientific integrity framework (ALLEA code).

Last update: 22 de December de 2022

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