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Research ethics

Standards for scientific integrity and animal experiments policy

The University of Groningen strongly believes in professional academic practices and ethically sound teaching and research. It is committed to academic integrity and is convinced that misbehaviour in academia must be avoided at all times. In addition, the University aims to make ethical choices in research, which includes a responsible animal experiment policy.

Standards for academic integrity

The quality of research conducted at the University of Groningen is assessed against the highest international standards. In addition the University complies with the behavioural rules, which can be found in the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018. The Code of Conduct has entered into force on 1 October 2018. Important values in this code of conduct include honesty, scrupulousness, transparency, independence, and responsibility. Research activities initiated before 1 October 2018 still fall under the Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice (2014).

If it is assumed that the academic integrity has been violated, a complaint can be made. The RUG ensures a careful and fair procedure for handling complaints and subsequent decision-making. To this end, the Complaints Procedure Scientific Integrity University of Groningen 2020 has been established. This procedure entered into force on April 1, 2020. For complaints submitted before April 1, 2020, the Scheme for the Protection of Scientific Integrity remains valid.

Shared responsibility

All those involved in teaching and research at the University of Groningen are jointly responsible for preventing and identifying academic misbehaviour. Students, PhD students and researchers learn to conduct research in an honest way and can lodge a complaint whenever they suspect improper conduct. Upon being appointed, researchers declare that they are familiar with the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018 and will obey it.

Confidential advisors scientific integrity

Questions and complaints about academic integrity can be discussed with a confidential advisor. The Executive Board of the university of Groningen appointed the following five advisors in the field of scientific integrity:

Academic Integrity Committee

The University has established a special Academic Integrity Committee, which conducts investigations when violations of academic integrity, such as forgery, plagiarism and violation of rights, are suspected. The chair of this Committee is mr. R.B.M. (Rob) Keurentjes and the secretary is mr. S.R. (Bas) van Dijk .

Animal experiments policy

Certain scientific research, such as the development of new medicines, would currently still be impossible without animal experiments. At the same time, however, the University of Groningen recognizes the intrinsic value of animals, which is why University and UMCG researchers are obliged to take not only the interests of humans and academia into account but also those of animals.

Any conflicts of interest between humans and animals must be resolved in an ethically sound way. All research activities involving animal experiments must be presented to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for approval in advance. Laboratory animal experts from the University of Groningen and inspectors from the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority will subsequently monitor the animal experiments and ensure that researchers and lecturers conform to the Animal Experiments Act.

In addition, the University of Groningen also supports the Code Openheid Dierproeven (Code on openness with regard to animal experiments). This way the University of Groningen meets society’s demand for more openness with regard to the use of laboratory animals in scientific research.

Annual reports on animal experiments (Dutch)

Last modified:21 August 2023 11.46 a.m.
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