Università Cattolica allocates internal funds to support research in accordance with the Regulation for the allocation of internal contributions to scientific research. These regulations, drawn up in a specific version for the Po Valley offices and for the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, specify the procedures for the management of three distinct lines of intervention:
- a first line dedicated to financing research projects generally developed within departments and institutes (Line D.1);
- a second line dedicated both to the financing of the scientific activities of the departments and institutes of the Milan office, and to the purchase of equipment and documentation aimed at designing research activities or carrying out research requiring special instruments (Line D.2);
- a third line dedicated to the funding of research of particular interest to the University and to support the publication of research results of teachers and researchers, with particular attention to the support of open access publications (Line D.3).
In particular, within the framework of Line D.3.2, for each two-year period, the Academic Senate, on the proposal of the Research Strategies Committee, identifies research topics of particular interest to the University, respecting the equal representativeness of all the scientific areas present, to finance inter-faculty and interdisciplinary projects, capable of contributing to the improvement of the University's national and international scientific profile, in homogeneous scientific areas. These research topics are the subject of internal calls for proposals by groups of lecturers and researchers, which are evaluated according to parameters such as qualification of the applicant, presence of international partnerships, intra-University, inter-faculty and interdisciplinary dimension of the project. For the two-year period 2020-2021, the two themes investigated on the line of intervention D.3.2. will be:
- Global risks: multidisciplinary approaches for strategies to protect integral human development;
- Towards a new humanism. Beyond algorithms: interdisciplinary research on change.
In order to improve the quality of scientific publications and the ability to acquire funding from projects on competitive calls for proposals, a system of individual evaluation and incentives for teachers and researchers based on three actions has been launched:
- rewards and incentives on projects financed by competitive calls for proposals;
- awards and incentives on "high quality" publications;
- penalty for the "inactive".
For the first action, incentives are awarded to teachers and researchers who are winners of projects on competitive calls for proposals with a significant consistency from an organisational and financial point of view and a long-term commitment - or of financially identifiable parts of complex projects (Principal investigator - PI, heads of unit, other responsible figures). These awards and incentives may be either monetary or non-monetary (partial exemption from teaching activities). This action also includes the possibility of applying to the Research Strategy Committee for the funding for competitive research projects, which can be traced back to international and national calls for proposals of a particularly complex design and management nature, which have had positive evaluations from a scientific point of view but which have not received any funding due to lack of funds or mechanisms of the call for proposals which do not concern the scientific quality of the project. The funding is aimed at networking and reformulation activities with a view to the future re-proposal of the project in the same or in other competitive calls.
For the second action, prizes will be awarded to authors of "high quality" publications, on the basis of standards determined by the individual disciplinary scientific committees and taking into account the evaluation criteria of the Research Quality Assessment (RQA) exercise for their discipline. The award may be used both as a research fund and as compensation. The Scientific Committees are in charge of defining the criteria with which "high quality" publications are identified for the purposes of determining the awards.
For the third action, exclusion from direct and indirect access to the University's internal funds is foreseen, including participation in working groups for funding applications and the performance of research funded on these lines and exclusion from participation in commissions for the allocation of research grants, temporary researcher positions, commissions for calls of associate and full professors for researchers who, in the absence of reasons arising from particular institutional roles or force majeure, do not present any publication in the RQA evaluation exercises (so-called "inactive").
The regulations for the distribution of the contributions of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore to scientific research are published below.