Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Research School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences Education PhD Training Programme Other courses (B)

11. Scientific Integrity for new PhD students

NB. Obligatory for BCN PhD students with an appointment at the UMCG, who did not have a scientific integrity module in the research master  


Researchers have developed professional standards designed to enhance the progress of science and to avoid or minimize the difficulties of research. These standards more and more become expressed in formal codes that address issues of interpersonal, professional, institutional, and public responsibility: researchers have an obligation towards their fellow researchers in providing accurate and reliable research; they owe themselves adherence to professional standards to build personal integrity in a research career; they may expect an environment in which research can be conducted in an ethically sound way; finally, researchers have an obligation to act in ways that serve the public.

These high moral standards play a role in all phases of research, from research problem selection, methodology, working with research subjects to issues of international collaboration, commercialization and authorship.


The aim of the course is to deepen the understanding of and reflection on the problems and tools of research ethics.

The course is designed as an interactive course training the participants to recognize ethical issues in their daily work and discussing opportunities to deal with these. This means that institutional and other tools will be discussed such as the role and functions of Institutional Review Boards, the UMCG protocol and risk-benefit assessments. Topics can range from authorship, fabrication and falsification, mentoring, ethical questions in clinical research, managing research misconduct, tainted data, to ghost writing, peer review, retraction.


- Insight in and knowledge of the ethics of planning, conducting, and reporting of research
- Introduction to the problems and tools of research ethics, addressing all phases of scientific research
- Knowledge of principles of good scientific research
- Awareness of social and institutional dimensions of science
- Knowledge of forms of and prevention of scientific misconduct


- Collection, use, and interpretation of research data
- Methods for reporting and reviewing research plans or findings
- Interaction between researchers, hierarchical relations
- Relationships between researchers and those that will be affected by their research
- Protection of human subjects
- Means for responding to misunderstandings, disputes, or misconduct
- Options for promoting ethical conduct in research
- Writing an ethical paragraph about research
- Resources for additional study on topics related to scientific integrity, responsible conduct of research, and research misconduct
- Risk-benefit assessments
- Informed consent
- Privacy and confidentiality of research subjects and data
- The role and functions of Institutional Review Boards
- Vulnerable populations
- International research conducted in developing countries
- Faculty specific topics


Written report on questions about SI in the PhD-candidate’s specific field of research


100% attendance is required

Course structure

The course consists of 6 meetings (90 minutes each): one introductory meeting (large group) and five small-group meetings.


In January and in September will start new courses.

Small group meetings

Meetings prepared by the participants about topics in scientific integrity, relevant for their own practice, supervised by an experienced researcher. Background material is available in Nestor.

There will be five meetings in the course (approximately once every three weeks).



Credits (with exam)



Course coordinator

Els Maeckelberghe, PhD

Last modified:16 October 2019 1.21 p.m.