General information

The Croatian Science Foundation was established through a special act by the Croatian Parliament (Official Gazette No. 117/2001) on 21 December 2001 as the National Foundation for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development of the Republic of Croatia. The Foundation was established for the purpose of promoting science, higher education and technological development in the Republic of Croatia and supporting scientific, higher education and technological programmes and projects. Since 2009, the Foundation has been operating under the name Croatian Science Foundation.

Ever since its establishment, the Foundation has been funding competitive scientific, developmental and innovation projects. The 2009 and 2012 legislative amendments (Official Gazette No. 78/2012) introduced a new aspect to the Foundation’s work since, from 2013, the Foundation assumed the role of funding national scientific research projects, previously held by the Ministry of Science and Education. In 2014, the Foundation also took up funding of young researchers’ career development.

As of 1 January 2022, the Foundation became a Croatian State Budget user under the heading of the Ministry of Science and Education, subject to the provisions of the Budget Act and Act on the Execution of the State Budget. On 28 May 2022, new Act on the Croatian Science Foundation entered into force (Official Gazette 57/2022), defining the roles and responsibilities of existing (Board, Director) bodies and a new body (Complaints Committee).

In order to ensure that the best projects are selected and funded, the Foundation developed a two-stage project proposal evaluation procedure. The evaluation procedure is based on the internationally acclaimed practice of peer review, conducted by international scientists, and the practice of panel evaluation, conducted by Croatian scientists.

By providing support to high-quality projects and researchers, the Foundation enables Croatian scientific institutions to conduct state-of-the-art research, thus facilitating them to compete for internationally competitive projects. With regard to the development of young researchers’ careers, the Foundation emphasises the inclusion of doctoral students in research activities, the primary goal being the writing of their doctoral thesis and obtaining a doctoral degree within 4 years as well as continuous monitoring and evaluation of achieved results both in their doctoral studies and research activities. This will enable doctoral students to compete, on equal terms, with their peers abroad, and will offer them a better chance of obtaining post-doctoral training grants in top-notch research groups.

In May 2013, the Foundation became a Science Europe Member Organization. Science Europe gathers national organizations for funding competitive scientific research for the purpose promoting common interests and defining points of departure for joint communication with national governments and EU bodies with regard to science policies.



Strategic goals

The Foundation's values

Work criteria

Transparency and availability

Expertise and confidentiality

Integrity and ethical issues

Work criteria

The most important criteria guiding the Foundation’s work are research excellence and impartiality during the project selection, evaluation, funding and monitoring procedures. In order to ensure funding of the best projects and researchers, the submitted project proposals are referred for peer review to independent international experts. The Foundation applies the principles for the evaluation of scientific excellence (Statement of Principles for Scientific Merit Review and Statement of Principles for Scientific Merit Review 2018.), which embody the highest international standards of expert assessment, transparency, impartiality, confidentiality, ethics and scientific integrity.

Evaluation is conducted through objective scientific and expert assessment based on the internationally accepted practice of peer review, taking into consideration scientific excellence, feasibility and impact of the project as well as balanced development of scientific areas and fields. A proper procedure was defined for identifying conflict of interest and preventing the participation of persons who might be in a conflict of interest in the evaluation.

Transparency and availability

Grants for scientific research are awarded solely through public calls. All calls are published according to the the Foundation’s Plan of Activities, which is published on the Foundation’s website at the beginning of each year.

When a Call is published, the complete Call documentation is made available on the Foundation’s website, including all evaluation forms with the evaluation criteria for project proposals. The Foundation’s experts regularly provide answers to all questions. Questions and answers are published on the website on pre-defined dates for all to see. All decisions of the evaluation panels and the Board are based on clearly defined rules, procedures and evaluation criteria, all published in advance.

Information about funded projects, names of the principal investigators, mentors and doctoral students can be found in the database published on the Foundation’s website. The website also features the Foundation’s annual work reports, financial reports, audit reports, the Statute, regulations and other normative acts, Procurement Plan and annual plans of activities.

Expertise and confidentiality of information

Peer reviewers taking part in the evaluation procedure are selected based on pre-defined criteria, the primary being knowledge of the proposed research theme and expertise. All persons involved in the evaluation procedure are obliged to respect the confidentiality of all information stated in the project proposals revealed to them for the purpose of evaluation. This commitment is permanent and shall apply even after the evaluation procedure has ended. Evaluators are not allowed to discuss project proposals with persons not involved in the evaluation procedure. They are also not allowed to communicate with the applicants about their projects. Each participant in the evaluation procedure is personally responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of information related to the projects in the evaluation process, as well as for the documentation related to the content of the project proposals and must not disclose any information about the projects.

Integrity and ethical issues

Ethics, integrity and professional and scientific responsibility are the highest principles to be followed throughout the evaluation process and their protection is the responsibility of all persons involved in the evaluation. Evaluation of project proposals implies independent scientific evaluation, used to determine the scientific quality of the proposed research.