Four projects of the Science with and for Society (SwafS) programme funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union address ethics and research integrity (ERI) education. Besides Path2Integrity, INTEGRITY and VIRT2UE have a direct educational focus, while EnTIRE supports education by providing a platform that maps the normative framework governing research ethics and research integrity, including educational resources, materials and tools. The four projects share the goal of fostering a research culture characterised by a widespread adaptation and internalisation of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (ECoC). Therefore, the projects have started to share information, ideas and materials, and are committed to intensify their cooperation in the future.
Their similarities notwithstanding, the projects also have their unique strengths, foci, target groups and approaches. Due to their general similarities and specific differences, the projects are in many regards complementary. Highlighting these complementarities and facilitating the creation of synergies is a major rationale underlying the cluster.
This webpage briefly outlines the major contours of the four projects forming the SwafS ERI education cluster. It helps everyone interested in the projects to navigate the current European ERI education landscape.
Path2Integrity strives to establish excellent formal and informal learning paths for ERI, targeting secondary school students, undergraduate students, graduate students and early career researchers. To support formal learning, the project has developed numerous learning cards, a revised version of which will form the core of a handbook of instructions. To support informal learning, the project is in the process of developing an awareness raising campaign, which will be launched at various educational institutions, including universities and secondary schools. Besides students and early career researchers, Path2Integrity also supports secondary school teachers, university lecturers and relevant administrations to use the handbook and to implement the campaign at their institutions by developing a train-the-trainer programme and setting up a training centre.
A crucial characteristic of Path2Integrity is its commitment to evidence-based teaching and learning. In order to live up to that commitment, all learning materials developed by the project as well as the overall approach are rigorously evaluated. Using a mixed methods design, the evaluation assesses whether the handbook outperforms traditional lectures, whether the campaign conveys clear messages, whether the two-component approach combining formal and informal learning is effective in improving ERI education, and whether gender differences affect ERI learning.
Duration: January 2019 – December 2021
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Julia Prieß-Buchheit, Coburg University
INTEGRITY seeks to empower students to conduct research responsibly by developing innovative, evidence-based and scaffolded learning formats. Furthermore, the project develops tailored curricula for students in all research areas and across different levels of study. INTEGRITY targets secondary school students, undergraduates, graduates and early career researchers. In particular, the project combines high quality training in ERI with innovative modes of engagement, seeking to equip the next generation of researchers with the capability to conduct research responsibly and address unforeseen challenges with integrity and in an ethical manner.
A unique feature of INTEGRITY is its thorough commitment to a bottom-up approach as it develops learning materials together with students. Hence, capacity building of students is at the centre of the teaching philosophy that underpins INTEGRITY. Further important components of the teaching philosophy are a commitment to transparency, honesty and responsibility, which represent the three core values of the project. As regards content, both questionable research practices and falsification, fabrication and plagiarism are foci.
Duration: January 2019 – December 2021
Coordinator: Dr. Mariëtte van den Hoven, University of Utrecht
VIRT2UE has developed a blended-learning train-the-trainer programme for ERI trainers that aims to foster scientific virtues and the consistent application of the ECoC across Europe via online and face-to-face training. The major target group of the project are ERI trainers and researchers. Methodologically the programme is based on a virtue ethical approach to research integrity, while its pedagogical principles are learner-centredness, constructive alignment and evidence-based methods. The train-the-trainer programme draws on a systematic mapping of scientific virtues and educational resources conducted by the project.
The virtue ethical approach focuses on building moral virtues that allow researchers to act with integrity and apply the content of the ECoC in concrete situations. VIRT2UE seeks to enable researchers to master challenges they are likely to encounter over the course of their academic career. The programme rests on the premise that effective research integrity training should not only convey knowledge of codes and regulations, but must also address moral character building. In addition to the train-the-trainer programme, VIRT2UE develops online learning materials, including MOOCS and videos. Overall, the project strives to develop a toolbox of resources ERI trainers can draw on when teaching ERI.
Duration: June 2018 – May 2020
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Guy Widdershoven, VUmc Amsterdam
EnTIRE is not an educational project in the narrow sense, but nonetheless supports ERI education in many ways. EnTIRE has created the Embassy of Good Science, an online platform that maps the normative frameworks governing research ethics and research integrity in Europe. In addition to legislation, guidelines, standards, rules and procedures, the Embassy also provides access to various educational resources and cases that can facilitate ERI teaching and learning.
A unique characteristic of the Embassy is that it will become a wiki in February 2020 to which everyone interested in ERI is invited to contribute, be it by asking or answering questions in the Q&A section, improving or adding thematic pages that provide information on ERI topics, or adding resources. All projects forming the SwafS ERI education cluster have committed to use the Embassy as a prominent channel to disseminate their outputs and results. VIRT2UE, being closely related to EnTIRE, has even contributed to developing the platform and, therefore, is an integral part of the Embassy.
Duration: May 2017 – April 2020
Coordinator: Duration: Prof. Dr. Guy Widdershoven, VUmc Amsterdam