IRB Barcelona is a non-profit institution, dedicated to advancing in knowledge and producing world-class science to further the understanding of fundamental questions about human health and disease. Our working field is challenging in terms of health and safety, privacy, recruitment, conflicts of interest, animal use and collaborations with the private sector. IRB Barcelona complies with a wide set of policies to ensure that we provide a safe work environment for our community and that we meet the highest ethical standards.
In compliance with the Catalan Law 19/2014, of 29 December, on Transparency, Access to Public Information and Good Governance, and the Spanish Law 19/2013, of 9 December, on Transparency, Access to Information and Good Governance, we publish on this page information about the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona).
Human Resources Excellence in Research
On December 9, 2014, the IRB Barcelona is going to be awarded with the "HR Excellence in Research" logo.
On 9 December, 2014, IRB Barcelona was awarded the "HR Excellence in Research" logo. This recognition reflects the commitment of the Institute to continuously improving its human resources policies in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The award confirms the efforts of the Institute to ensure fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures.
IRB Barcelona upholds the importance of working on the alignment between its policies/practices and The European Charter of Researchers and The Code of Conduct adopted by European Commission. These two documents, addressed to researchers as well as to employers and funders in both the public and private sectors, are key elements in the European Union's policy to make research an attractive career, which is a vital feature of its strategy to stimulate economic and employment growth.
In this regard, IRB Barcelona expressed its explicit commitment and adhesion to the Charter & Code in January 2012 and has been working on putting the Charter & Code principles into practice to gain the Human Resources Excellence in Research logo from the European Commission. By meeting this challenge, IRB Barcelona believes that researchers will be able to focus on their career development and increase their employability and career advancement. This recognition of excellence will also contribute to binomial Recruitment/Retention and increase awareness of legal obligations and rights.
In January 2014, a working group involving key institutional stakeholders was set up to study the alignment of IRB Barcelona with the principles of the Charter & Code. The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) was the tool for the working group to put the principles of the Charter & Code into practice. This strategy follows 5 steps: gap analysis, action plan, reviewed and acknowledged by the European Commission, self-assessment after 2 years, and external evaluation at least every 4 years.
IRB Barcelona’s Action Plan was adopted by consensus in May 2014 by the members of the working group and the Directorate and was approved by the Internal Scientific Committee (ISC) on 2 June 2014. The strategic lines of action are outlined below:
- Promote the ethics and freedom of research, thus contributing to a better work environment, and ensure that society directly benefits from the research performed at IRB Barcelona.
- Formalise, through the drawing up a Code of Conduct, the following ethical and professional aspects: research of freedom, ethical principles, professional responsibility and attitude, and good practices.
- To draw up a Conflict of Interests Policy to regulate issues related to financial interests arising from research.
- Reinforce the dissemination of key recruitment documents.
- Draw up a Recruitment Policy.
- Improve current documents regarding recruitment by integrating the principles set out in the Charter & Code.
- Intensify career advice given to researchers in order to support the continuity of their careers.
- Promote mobility by launching “mobility programmes” and by reinforcing information.
- Establish the value of co-authorship thorough a proper means.
- State the regulations governing the relationship between PhD students and Group Leaders, including supervision and duties, in the Code of Conduct of the Institute.
Here is a list of all the awarded institutions.
IRB Barcelona is strongly committed to continuously improving its human resources policies to ensure fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures.
IRB Barcelona aims to attract, recruit, select and employ candidates of outstanding quality and potential, who can contribute to ensuring continuous improvement in standards and capacity.
The Recruitment and Selection Policy provides a framework and structure for all IRB Barcelona staff engaged in the recruitment and selection process.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Increasing demands are placed on research institutes to collaborate with enterprises as a way of generating additional funding to support their research. In this context, IRB Barcelona members are placed in situations where potential conflicts may arise between their personal and professional interests and the interests of IRB Barcelona.
The involvement of IRB Barcelona members in these activities may give rise to Conflict of Interest, whether potential or existing, which requires IRB Barcelona to act and take action in defence of its interests.
Thus, it is IRB Barcelona’s policy to encourage and foster external activities whilst ensuring that when Conflict of Interest arises it is acknowledged and disclosed, and when necessary, properly addressed and managed.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct sets out recommendations governing research activities and other endeavours. The aim is to consolidate an environment conducive to quality research and to establish guidelines regarding the integrity of members of the IRB Barcelona community in their daily work. The recommendations have been drawn up in compliance with current legislation.
The Code of Conduct complements IRB Barcelona policies and official documents such as those for health and safety, working conditions, or management of information and finances or of intellectual property, and does not replace them.
Animal Research Policy
IRB Barcelona institutional statement on the use of animals in experimental research
The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has joined the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research, launched on 20 September 2016 by the Federation of Scientific Societies in Spain (COSCE), with the collaboration of the European Association of Research Animals (EARA).
Animal research has proved essential in unravelling the biological mechanisms underlying disease and for the development of treatments. Indeed, the development of medicines, antibiotics, vaccines and surgical procedures currently used in human and veterinary medicine would not have been otherwise possible without this research.
IRB Barcelona strictly adheres to current legislation governing the wellbeing and protection of animals used for research purposes and for other scientific ends. Such legislation prevents any project involving animals from beginning without prior evaluation of ethical issues and final authorisation from the respective competent authority. Animal research requires the approval of committees and bodies outside IRB Barcelona that promote the use of alternative methods, the reduction of the number of animals used, and the refinement of experimental procedures. IRB Barcelona seeks to ensure that its researchers comply with the highest standards of animal welfare, not only for questions of legal and moral responsibility, but also because it firmly believes that science of excellence cannot be achieved without guaranteeing animal welfare.
IRB Barcelona also guarantees compliance with the legislation requiring personnel in charge of animal care and researchers involve in experimentation to have the necessary training and knowledge.