PRO-RES project kicked off with first workshop in Brussels

The PRO-RES project, a European Commission funded project that aims at PROmoting ethics and integrity in non-medical RESearch, just conducted its first workshop in Brussels on 13 November 2018. This workshop was the first of a series of planned events for the whole duration of the project, and was hosted at the European Policy Centre and included several representatives of research funding and research performing organizations, dealing with ethics and integrity issues.

During the event, various scientific and technological communities were consulted about the project objectives, and the discussions aimed at better understanding the needs of each communities. A very interesting exchange took place, both on how to better manage ethics and integrity within research communities and funding instruments, as well as exchange of best practices and discussion on what is happening and what is missing. Novel technologies and the ethical issues that might arise from their use was also a hotly contested topic amongst the participants, who provided valuable input to the Pro-Res project.

The project consortium hopes that this event will initiate a series of exchanges between the project and the European stakeholders that will result in an agreement of a research ethics and integrity framework that is based on commonly held, European values and principles and incorporates in a meaningful way the excellent standards and guidelines that have been and are used by the various non-medical communities in practice.

One can envision the proposed framework as a tree. The roots of the tree are the ‘values’ that we all agree on. The trunk is the existing principles, the branches are the various disciplines that the framework targets and the leaves are the standards that each discipline uses”, said Helen Kara, Pro-Res Scientist.

PRO-RES in a nutshell

With the aid of a full range of stakeholders, to devise and build a supported guidance framework for all non-medical sciences and humanities disciplines adopting social science methodologies. The framework will meet the highest standards of research ethics and scientific integrity and be comprehensive, covering the full range of issues and concerns – such as dealing with innovative technologies and the novel research possibilities of big data, the challenges of social media research and balancing public interest concerns with cherished rights to privacy. It will be of practical help in guiding interested parties to ways of achieving reliable and trustworthy research. The targeted stakeholders include researchers, reviewers, regulators, research managers and policymakers and, not least, a representative range of research subjects/participants. It will not duplicate existing work – merely guide stakeholders in the direction of established existing good practices.

For any questions, please contact:

Emmanouil Detsis
Science Officer
European Science Foundation