In response to recent public information regarding operations of the International Research Agenda ReMedy, we publish the following statement.
Rector Marcin Pałys stands by all reservations that the University of Warsaw has about the operations of ReMedy within the university’s structure.
These reservations concern the differences between the goals for which UW engaged in the ReMedy project and the actual actions taken by the ReMedy heads. The aim of UW was to support the development of a top-notch UW Centre of New Technologies (CeNT) at UW, therefore CeNT world-class facilities were put at the disposal of ReMedy. However, during the last year, the ReMedy heads acted first to separate the International Research Agenda (IRA) from CeNT, and then from the University, while keeping the CeNT facilities and infrastructure.
The ReMedy heads disregarded the legal and organisational principles of the University, claiming that these regulations did not apply to ReMedy. Also, they ignored the fact that ReMedy is not a separate legal person and that the University of Warsaw represents it externally and bears full legal and financial responsibility for it,” says Prof. Marcin Pałys, the UW rector.
Furthermore Prof. Agnieszka Chacińska’s decisions when she was both the head of the Centre of New Technologies and the head of ReMedy impacted negatively on the Centre. “Prof. Agnieszka Chacińska, while still in the position of CeNT head, led up to the resignation of talented researchers, including holders of prestigious grants from Foundation for Polish Science, and National Science Centre. It sparked a crisis in the Centre that continues to this day”, stresses Prof. Marcin Pałys.
The Foundation for Polish Science Ethics and Good Practice Commission, dealing with these cases, concluded that Prof. Agnieszka Chacińska’s acions as CeNT and ReMedy head violated ethical principles.
In autumn 2019, Prof. Agnieszka Chacińska and Prof. Magdalena Maria Konarska proposed that the entire ReMedy team should leave the university and the grant should be transferred to the ReMedy+ Foundation. The IRA International Scientific Committee gave a positive opinion on the separation of ReMedy from UW and the UW consented to it.
In January 2020, the IRA heads put forward the formal proposal to the Foundation for Polish Science regarding the transfer of the grant to the ReMedy+ Foundation.
The ensuing decisions of the University of Warsaw such as stopping new hirings in the ReMedy grant and not starting new grant agreements for the departing personnel were intended to facilitate separation of ReMedy from UW, according to the declared objectives of the ReMedy heads.
The transfer proposal prepared by Profs. Agnieszka Chacińska and Magdalena Maria Konarska was rejected by the international experts of the Foundation for Polish Science. In their opinion, the newly established foundation did not meet the standards required for IRA projects.
Subsequently, a new idea arose to move ReMedy to the Polish Academy of Sciences. Representatives of the institutions – the University of Warsaw, Foundation for Polish Science, Polish Academy of Sciences and Poland’s Ministry of Higher Education – participated in talks regarding this concept. Employees belonging to the ReMedy team were duly informed about planned changes.
On April 2nd, a letter of intent was signed by the UW rector, the ReMedy heads, the president of Polish Academy of Sciences and the president of Foundation for Polish Science. In this letter, they expressed their will to create an international institute in the framework of Polish Academy of Sciences and move ReMedy project there.
The Foundation for Polish Science indicated 31st August 2020 as the deadline for the decision on carrying out the ReMedy project at UW.
The UW rector regrets Prof. Agnieszka Chacińska’s actions, which despite her clearly communicated will to separate ReMedy from UW now hinders this process. These actions jeopardize the international reputation of the University of Warsaw.
UW Press Office