The Ombudsperson is a person of trust for employees of the FBN. Responsibilities of the Ombudsperson include the arbitration and settlement of disputes and discrepancies in the context of good scientific practices.
German Research Foundation, Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice
Guideline 6 - Ombudspersons
Higher education institutions and non-university research institutions shall provide for at least one independent ombudsperson to whom their members and staff may turn in matters of good scientific practice and suspected scientific misconduct. They shall take sufficient care to ensure that the Ombudspersons are known at the institution. A substitute shall be provided for each ombudsperson in case of concern of bias or prevention.
Implementation of Guideline 6 at the FBN
The scientific staff of the FBN elect an ombudsperson and a deputy ombudsperson. These are the contact persons for scientific discrepancies, suspicions and disputes in connection with good scientific practice. Ombudspersons receive enquiries while maintaining confidentiality and refer suspected cases of scientific misconduct to the FBN's investigative commission if necessary.
The ombudspersons are elected from among the scientists of the FBN; a scientist who does not belong to the institute but is well acquainted with it may also be elected. Ombudspersons may not be members of the institute's management.
All academic staff members of the FBN are entitled to nominate candidates. The term of office is 4 years; re-election is permitted once. The ombudspersons perform their duties in an honorary capacity, independently and free of instructions.