Research in Croatia
The main funding bodies, together with the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, are the Croatian Science Foundation (CSF), funding different programmes, research projects, and university reforms, and the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO), supporting various innovation policy programmes, creating, implementing and financing innovation policy programmes for the commercial application of science.
Throughout the Regional Competitiveness Operational Programme and Operational Programme Human Resources Development, Croatia is combining the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), while funding the development of science and research. The Unity for Knowledge Fund (UKF) was established by the Croatian government in 2007 to support programmes that foster cooperation between scientists at home and the ones abroad. International Fellowship Mobility Programme for Experienced Researchers in Croatia (NEWFELPRO) is a fellowship project of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, implemented in the period from 2013 until 2017. The project is co-financed through the Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2011-COFUND programme. The incoming fellowship scheme and the reintegration fellowship scheme are directed to the researchers who are presently working abroad and wishing to work with scientists at public scientific institutes and universities in Croatia.
With the Project of returning Croatian scientists to their homeland, the Ministry of Science and Education provides funding for the reintegration of the Croatian scientists from abroad, with the aim to continue scientific and research careers in Croatia.
The Ministry of Science and Education is providing financial support for Croatian research organisations to encourage applications to the Framework programme for research and innovation. This includes financial support for the consortium preparation meetings, workshops, and additional financial support for framework programme project proposals that have passed the threshold, but did not secure funding.
According to the database of the Agency for Science and Higher Education, there are currently 123 doctoral study programmes registered in Croatia in the fields of Arts, Biomedicine and Health, Biotechnical Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Technical Sciences, and interdisciplinary fields. Postgraduate university study usually lasts three years. Upon completion, students are awarded an academic title of Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts. It is important to highlight that, at the moment, only several postgraduate doctoral university study programmes are being fully delivered in English:
- PhD programme in Biomedicine and Health Sciences
- (Joint Doctoral Programme) Geo-Engineering and Water Management
The detailed list of doctoral studies is available on the Study in Croatia website.
Researchers in possession of a PhD degree can initiate election to a scientific title. This procedure is required if you plan to settle down in Croatia and seek permanent employment in publicly funded research jobs, while in other cases this is not a requirement.
Scientific titles in research institutes are:
- Research associate (Znanstveni suradnik),
- Senior research associate (Viši znanstveni suradnik),
- Research advisor (Znanstveni savjetnik)
- Research advisor with tenure (Znanstveni savjetnik u trajnom zvanju).
The request for an election to a scientific title is submitted to the scientific organization authorized for conducting part of the election procedure. If the person who is to be elected is employed in the scientific institution authorized to conduct part of the election procedure, the aforementioned institution is only competent for carrying out part of the procedure. If no scientific organization is authorized to conduct part of the election procedure to a certain scientific title in a particular scientific or artistic field or an interdisciplinary scientific or artistic area, and the field committee or the interdisciplinary area committee has not been appointed, the election procedure is conducted by the corresponding scientific or artistic area council. If no scientific or artistic area council is authorised to conduct the procedure, the election procedure is conducted by the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development. In that case, the election procedure will be finished within 120 days.
The procedure lasts approximately 5 months and it is free of charge. However, the costs of necessary translations and the recognition of qualifications should be taken into account .
The Register of Researchers has been established for the purpose of having a database with relevant data of all persons engaged in scientific work. The registration procedure is required if you plan to settle in Croatia and seek permanent employment in publicly funded research jobs or apply for national funding. In other cases, this is not a requirement.
The general requirement for election to a scientific or academic employment position is the entry into the Register of Researchers with the appropriate or higher scientific title (research associates, senior research associates, research advisors, research advisors with tenure, etc.). Organizations and scientists not entered into the Register or removed from it, may not be funded from the state budget. Exceptionally, foreign organizations and foreign scientists may be, although not entered into the Register, at the proposal of the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development, funded from the state budget if they participate in a project of a great significance to the Republic of Croatia. Additionally, persons with a degree of Master of Science can also be entered into the Register of Researchers.
The request to register a researcher is submitted by:
- A scientific organization or other legal entity registered in the Register of Scientific Organizations for its employees or the employee him/herself,
- A person who is not employed in the scientific organization after the election procedure,
- A person who is not elected in any scientific or academic title, which is the basis for entry, but has gained a doctoral degree (or master) of science degree.
Documents required for the entry to the Register of Researchers are:
- Application form for the first registration of a person in the Register,
- A decision on the election to a scientific title, or grant of honorary titles,
- A proof of doctoral (or master) of science degree,
- Recognition of foreign higher education qualification.
The application for entry into the Register of Researchers needs to be sent to the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Donje Svetice 38, 10 000 Zagreb. This procedure is free of charge, however, take into account the necessary translation fees and the recognition of qualifications.
You can find more information on R&D in Croatia on the following links: