EU-project: PRO-RES – Promoting Ethics and Integrity in Non-Medical Research

PRO-RES – Promoting Ethics and Integrity in Non-Medical Research

by Panagiotis Kavouras (PRO-RES Project partner)

The PRO-RES project aims at promoting integrity in the use of research results in evidence based policy, focusing on non-medical research. The project will build a research ethics and integrity framework devised cooperatively with, and seen as acceptable by, the full range of relevant stakeholders (researchers, Research Performing Organizations, Research Funding Organizations, policy makers).

This framework, originating from cutting edge research responses to ethical challenges, will cover the spectrum of non-medical sciences, and offer practical solutions for all stakeholders, that will comply with the highest standards of research ethics and integrity. However, the theoretical construction of such a framework needs to be followed up with an understanding of what its application will entail and which are the implications and pragmatic issues of the implementation of such a framework at a national level, and to analyze the relationship between science-based policy advice, responsible conduct of research and research ethics.

The project will deliver an interactive virtual platform with a range of services, resources, and tools (e.g. cases, checklists, a network of research ethics advisors, impact assessment toolbox), by making use of existing codes and guidelines, already available via various sources, which will be aggregated and harmonized. It will, also, ensure that the produced framework is sustainable and adaptive, and can anticipate future needs that may arise from new scientific discoveries and new available technologies, while encapsulating the needs of society. The toolbox provided will enable policy makers to monitor ethical use of research results, to perform impact evaluation of, as well as to gauge the socio-economic impact, of not conducting responsible research.

PRO-RES draws upon foundational work funded by the EC, and other national and international agencies. The mapping of existing codes and guidelines on ethics and integrity across disciplines, the existing literature, codes and documentation will enable the project team to produce Provisional Framework Elements, as well as to build ground for wider consultation process via thematic group meetings/workshops and conferences. The ethical fault lines in societal, organizational, and political structures that make it possible for individual researchers to act ethically will be addressed, and potential solutions will be proposed within a value- and standards-based framework of ethical principles. Furthermore, the proposed framework will be tested via case studies.

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