About Violence Research Lab’s Funding: Full Disclosure
The Violence Lab is funded out of public money and we fully disclose all relevant information to the public under the imperative of transparency and accountability in managing public funds. Therefore, the following sections provide basic information on contracted project funds (200.000 €), but also on actual research funds (1.200.000 €), while gratefully acknowledging all our funders, without whose generous support our work would not be possible. We thus disclose relevant details about our actual usage of Croatian tax payers’ money and the manner in which we spend the awarded funds.
Contracted Project Funding: 200.000 €
The Violence Research Lab has been established through the Croatian Violence Monitor project, a so called installation research project of the Croatian Science Foundation (UIP-05-2017-8876). Installation research projects are intended to accelerate the establishment of independent research careers, by providing the most successfully evaluated scientists an opportunity to establish their own research groups that deal with internationally competitive issues at Croatian universities and public research institutes (HRZZ).
The overall funds secured by the project contract amount up to approx. 200.000 € (1.479.965,80 Croatian Kuna) over a period of 5 years, whereby the Croatian Science Foundation provides 85% of the funds, and the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law participates with 15%. The contracted project value presents by far the biggest project grant that has ever been allocated to a project from the area of legal sciences by the Croatian Science Foundation (up to and including the 2017 call), including both installation research projects aimed at younger researches, as well as research projects focusing on senior researchers.
It is important to stress that none of the Violence Lab members profit financially in any way from the project grant. This includes the Violence Lab’s head, its researchers and expert practitioners as well as the members of our Lab’s scientific advisory board. Honorariums may only be granted to international or domestic experts, whereas working contracts are granted for one PhD researcher of the Lab and for temporary work engagement of student researchers conducting the field work (case file analysis) in the project’s 3rd and 4th year.
Actual Research Funding: 1.200.000 €
When looking at the actual funding of our research work (1.200.000 €), instead of focusing on the contracted project funds (200.000 €), then the picture looks dramatically different with regards to the overall value and distribution of funding or the funding institutions. The Croatian Science Foundation participates in the actual research funding with 14% (project grant), whereas as much as 73% is provided by Violence Lab member’s host institutions. With 68% the main value/cost of Violence Lab’s research most definitely is the funding of researchers’ work on the project – here all research group members’ host institutions significantly contribute to the project’s funding, thus the Croatian Science Foundation provides additional 13% through the young researchers’ career development project, by so fare having granted 2 PhD researcher positions affiliated to the Violence Lab. Thus, the necessary infrastructure, administrative support and most of the ‘expendables’ like coffee and food during project meetings are covered by the research group members’ host institutions.
The following graph clearly shows the distribution of actual research funding in relation to the contracted one:
Note: (1) The costs are calculated for the whole funding period and do only partly take into account the changing composition of the research group, while they do not account for increase in gross salary costs of research group members during the next years (calculations are based on data for 2019); (2) Researchers’ home institutions cover the costs of 30% of Lab members’ gross salary and 70% of the Lab head’s gross salary: University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka’s Faculty of Law, University of Split’s Faculty of Law, University of Osijek’s Faculty of Law and Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb’s Institute for Forensics and Criminology, University Hospital Centre Sestre milosrdnice, Police College in Zagreb, The Office of the National Security Council, The Institute of Economics in Zagreb, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar; University of Rijeka · Department of Pedagogical Sciences(3) Expendables: all researchers’ home institutions fully or partly cover the costs of food and coffee during the project meetings, and in the project’s 1st year largely contributed to travel and accommodation costs (min 12 meetings in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek); (4) Lab running costs Zagreb could be calculated only for the costs of office space rental, but obviously are much bigger when accounting for equipment and maintenance; (5) Sponsorships received so far: Žito ltd.
Usage of Public Funds: Value for Money, Accountability & Transparency
The Violence Lab is truly committed to spend the contracted and actual project funds under the leitmotiv “Public resources should be applied for the best possible public benefit”, meaning that all resources are used effectively and efficiently, without waste, and in a way that optimises the public benefit(Office of the Auditor-General, Audit New Zealand). In the case of scientific research this means that the public funds made available to us are primarily invested in direct (empirical) research, whereas all other costs are avoided or kept to the absolute minimum (travel, accommodation, expendables etc.). We are guided by the following principles in managing the public resources made available to us:
- VALUE FOR MONEY
In this context it has to be pointed out that the Lab has fully minimised all those costs that are not directly related to empirical data gathering (e.g. travel, accommodation, visual identity, expendables, software licences etc.), thereby ensuring that public funds are used rationally and primarily for research. All Lab members therefore share cars for travel, such travel costs are reimbursed using actual cost calculations (ViaMichelin) instead of the accepted per kilometer rate (which would double the car travel costs), and no per diems are paid to Violence Lab members, whereas we use accommodation on the level of hostels (e.g. Hostel Spinut or Hostel Sokol Centar). Software licences are purchased either free of charge or with academic discounts (e.g. tableau or SPSS for university staff). We also put a lot of effort into securing sponsorships and donations, but due to the relative unattractiveness of science & research to potential sponsors/donors (esp. when compared to sports or charity for example), such funding remains the exception. If you would care to become a donor or sponsor or assist us in this regard – please contact us!
Usage of Contracted Project Funds: 90% Direct Research Costs
The main share of the contracted project funds is used for covering the costs of empirical fieldwork (prosecution and court case analysis of 8.000-10.000 files on a nation-wide sample) and the development and implementation of the system for entering, analysing and mapping the gathered data. The next big share of the contracted project funds is used for covering the costs of the gross salary for the project’s PhD researcher. These direct (empirical) research costs make up a total of almost 90% of the contracted project funds. The remaining funds (13%) are used for expert honoraria, travel, and accommodation costs for the annual attendance of 2 Violence Lab members at a total of 5 conferences of the European Society of Criminology (EuroCrim). It is important to stress that annually a minimum of 8 conference presentations on Violence Lab research at the EuroCrim are contracted project outputs, making up a total of 40 conference presentations, although only for 10 presentations the costs are being covered through the project funds. The costs of the remaining 30 presentations and conference participations are funded by the researchers themselves or through the researchers’ home institutions (these costs have not even been included in the above actual cost calculation!). The remaining share of contracted project funds (2%) is used for covering travel and accommodation costs for a total of 8 project meetings in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek for approx. 10-15 Lab members per meeting from all parts of Croatia.
We strive for maximising money for value when it comes to our research mission and invests a significant amount of time and energy into minimising any indirect research costs, gladly lodging in student dormitories and hostels whenever we get a chance to do so.
Research Funding Acknowledgements
The Violence Research Lab is generously supported by the following funders. Without their vital support our research efforts would not be possible. We thank our funders for their generous support.
- Croatian Science Foundation
- University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Law
- University of Rijeka’s Faculty of Law
- University of Split’s Faculty of Law
- University of Osijek’s Faculty of Law
- University of Osijek’s Faculty of Philosophy
- University of Zagreb’s Institute for Forensics and Criminology
- University Hospital Centre Sestre milosrdnice
- Police College in Zagreb
- The Office of the National Security Council
- The Institute of Economics in Zagreb
- Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar
- The University of Split, University Department of Forensic Sciences
- University of Rijeka · Department of Pedagogical Sciences