Report Open Access

FWF Scientists Survey 2013. Executive Summary

Neufeld, Jörg

In the summer of 2012, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) commissioned the Institute for Research Information and Quality Assurance (iFQ) to carry out a survey of academic staff at universities and non-university research institutes in Austria. The main topic of the sur-vey is third-party-funded research. In detail, the focus is on application behaviour, applica-tion success, the level of awareness of funding institutions, in particular familiarity with the FWF and its funding provision (funding), and the academics’ and researchers’ opinions of the FWF’s aims and principles and its selection procedures – both in relation to the selec-tion of expert reviewers and to its presumed and desired criteria for making research deci-sions. Some of the questions for the survey were taken from the survey already carried out in 2002 by the market research institute SPECTRA.

Alongside these topics, which relate in the widest sense to the academic tasks and aims of the FWF, another aspect covered by the survey is the evaluation by Austrian academics and researchers of FWF’s service performance. Among other things, it deals with the FWF’s facilitation of ongoing projects, the duration of the application procedure and FWF’s provision of information.

At the same time, the iFQ’s survey of academics and researchers (survey of professors at German universities), carried out in 2010 jointly with the German Research Foundation (DFG) provided the model for individual questions on opinions of the FWF’s decision-making behaviour. This in turn goes back to the higher education staff surveys of 1976/77 and 1983/84 by the Allensbach Institute (IfD Allensbach), making international compari-son possible.

Further questions were also taken over from the DFG survey on the topic of academic misconduct, an issue which has become particularly prominent in the media in recent years, thus also taking a significant place in internal academic discourse. This part of the questionnaire was not related to the FWF; it dealt generally with the experiences of aca-demics and researchers, so the findings are not included in the report on the FWF survey. They will be published separately by the Austrian Agency for Research Integrity (OeAWI).

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