Centre for Ethics shares good practises in creating codes of conducts in an inter-disciplinary project
Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu along with 13 scientific institutions across Europe is a partner in a EUR 2.8 million 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.
One of the aim of the projects is to incorporate best practices. The Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu along with the Estonian Research Council will introduce the success story of implementing the Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. It’s one of the case studies analysed in the PRO-RES project. Studying country-level cases will help to understand better the influences and challenges, that implementing such frameworks in a broad way may bring.
Also, interdisciplinary co-operation plays a big role in PRO-RES. Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu will organize an international workshop in co-operation with the Institute of Computer Science (University of Tartu) and professor Dietmar Pfahl. The workshop focuses on behavioural research collecting data from social media/internet sources. The Centres’ role in this consultation workshop line would be to organise an event for the Baltic and Nordic countries, since the IT industry is such a fast developing industry for these countries.
A consortium of 14 scientific institutions from ten countries coordinated by the ESF will undertake an extensive dialogue with relevant stakeholders with the aim to create an Oviedo or Helsinki type framework that could apply to the full range of non-medical sciences drawing upon previous foundational work funded by the EC, 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.” says Dr. Jean-Claude Worms, Chief Executive of ESF, coordinator PRO-RES.
The inclusion of key policymaking groups from the beginning of the project is a major strategic aim of PRO-RES. 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.
“The PRO-RES framework will not seek to ‘reinvent the wheel’ since many excellent codes, guidelines and frameworks already exist. Our main tasks will be to gather all relevant work, consult with the right stakeholders, extract the common threads and synthesize it to a coherent and easy to understand whole”, says the Emmanouil Detsis, ESF, deputy coordinator of PRO-RES.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 788352