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ESF to run a new EC project aiming at building an ethics and integrity framework for all non-medical research

Contributed by: European Science Foundation

The European Science Foundation (ESF) along with 13 scientific institutions throughout Europe is to run a EUR 2.8 million project aiming at building an ethics and integrity framework for all non-medical research.


ESF to run a new EC project aiming at building an ethics and integrity framework for all non-medical research
Good, effective policymaking that produces outcomes that benefit, protect and sustain society, communities, groups and individuals depends upon robust, rigorous and interpretable research. If research is flawed by lacking integrity and by being conducted unethically, it is of no use to policymakers. The PRO-RES project, coordinated by the European Science Foundation (ESF), France, aims at building a research ethics and integrity framework devised cooperatively with, and seen as acceptable by, the full range of relevant stakeholders and similar to the Oviedo and Helsinki frameworks, but with emphasis on non-medical science fields. The European Commission has now approved its funding of EUR 2.8 million.

Decision takers and policymakers seek evidence to support their work from the range of expertise on offer. Any errors, fraud or corrupt practices by researchers in these fields can lead to serious damage to the social, economic and cultural structure of society, as well as having deleterious impacts on the physical environment. As a corollary, sound, reliable and transparent research, divorced from political ideology and undeclared vested interests, produces robust evidence to benefit social well-being and societal progress.

A consortium of 14 scientific institutions from 10 countries coordinated by the ESF will undertake an extensive dialogue with relevant stakeholders with the aim to create an Oviedo/Helsinki-type framework that could apply to the full range of non-medical sciences drawing upon previous foundational work funded by the European Commission, and other national and international agencies.

“The key issue for PRO-RES is to be as inclusive as possible when targeting the ‘non-medical’ sciences. The consortium partner composition is very diverse by design, ensuring that all relevant communities, to the extent possible, are represented. We are very glad to be able to coordinate this group of very experienced partners,” says Dr. Jean-Claude Worms, Chief Executive of ESF, coordinator of PRO-RES.

The inclusion of key policymaking groups from the beginning of the project is a major strategic aim of PRO-RES. The project partners are gearing up to identify and contact such groups in order to involve them in the process. Policymakers will see that, by influencing the direction of the PRO-RES project, they will be supplying themselves with a framework that assists with efficient policy option appraisals and reliable, trusted evidence for their implementation.

“Those of us who have been working in this field for many years have been eagerly awaiting such an opportunity. This ‘Science With and For Society’ funding Call targets the very people we need to reach to ensure that pleas for integrity in science and research are more than mere tokens. Ethical values, principles and standards need to pervade the research process from start to finish – they need to be part of the ‘culture’ of research and science policy must recognise that need and the most effective way to support it,” says Dr. Ron Iphofen, initiator of the PRO-RES idea.

Valuable foundational endeavours have been accomplished but have often been insufficiently acknowledged in subsequent advances. PRO-RES will seek to incorporate the best practice findings in currently funded research and liaise with concurrent project leaders. While the Call specifically seeks to emulate the Oviedo/Helsinki framework, we acknowledge the debt owed to the many existing codes and guidelines in non-medical fields. Many international organisations have continued to review and update their ethical codes over many years and PRO-RES will take account of those developments.

See the full Press Release on the ESF website:
http://www.esf.org/newsroom/news-and-press-releases/article/the-european-science-foundation-esf-along-with-13-scientific-institutions-throughout-eu-rope-is-to/?L=0cHash&cHash=9d81c48fedbd40e597fa873e32f18ef0

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Countries (9)

  • Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, France, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom

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Research ethics
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