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Positive evaluation of the BfS by the Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat)

The Science Council awards good to very good marks to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) regarding its scientific work. This is indicated in the Science Council's statement and evaluation report passed in its autumnal meeting, which has now been published.

Previously, the Science Council had investigated the scientific work of the BfS in the field of radiation protection in the scope of an evaluation of federal institutions involved in R&D carried out on a regular basis. The results were documented in an evaluation report.

Research activities cover broad thematic spectrum

The overall conclusion is: "The mainly good to very good research and consultation performance of the departments Radiation Protection and Health (SG) and Radiation Protection and the Environment (SW) form an important basis for the national legislation in the field of radiation protection and as such are essential. On the basis of the two departments' research activities that cover a broad thematic spectrum, the Federal Republic of Germany is in a position to co-operate in a proactive and competent manner in the regulation of radiation protection issues at the European and international level, taking the lead in some areas."

In May 2014, the Evaluation Group of the Science Council had familiarised itself in-situ with the work of the BfS at the BfS sites Berlin-Karlshorst and München-Neuherberg. Furthermore, employees of the BfS, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and other scientific agencies, advisory bodies, co-operation partners and users were asked for their opinions.

Evaluation is incentive and obligation

The fact that the Science Council has evaluated the scientific performance of the BfS to be good to very good is both an incentive and an obligation. The concrete recommendations likewise expressed by the Science Council aiming at still improving the previous performance, are tested for their implementation by the BfS in co-ordination with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. Among others, this concerns measures that are to increase

  • the obtaining of knowledge,
  • the promotion of junior scientists, or
  • the freedom of the BfS regarding the management of personnel and budgetary fundings.

In accordance with the BfS view, the Science Council believes that there is a clear need for improvement in terms of the processing of licensing applications in medical research, however. In particular the time needed for the processing of applications is too long. In this area, the BfS has already implemented measures with the aid of which the processing times could be reduced clearly and is currently examining further proposals to streamline administrative procedures.

Background:

The evaluation of the scientific performance of departmental research installations on a regular basis has been laid down in the "Concept of modern departmental research" of the federal government. Therefore, "federal institutions with research and development (R&D) tasks" are submitted to audits by the Science Council on a regular basis

Accordingly, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) initiated the evaluation for the departmental institutions in its portfolio in 2013.

State of 2014.10.28

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