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Reflection Course: Scientific Conduct


Admission requirements

The student must have had practical research experience before the course.


By creating new knowledge, biomedical scientists lay the foundation for the advancement of science, the better education of future researchers and medical doctors as well as improved health care. Often these advances and innovations also lead to economic boosts and increased prosperity. Scientific researchers have the inner urge to do the basic research, which one way or another is financed by society because it demands the innovations.
In the process of gaining new knowledge the researcher’s scientific integrity is vital, because in absence of proper scientific conduct, fabrication, falsification and plagiarism can abide with negative consequences for the individual researcher, research group, institute, science and ultimately society at large.
But what is good scientific conduct? Are there next to our moral compass any recipes or guidelines for scientific conduct? Yes, to a large extent there are. Based on universal human moral values and ethics, well accepted guidelines have been developed in the biomedical research area with some firmly grounded in legislation. Researchers can thus finance, design, conduct and report scientific research in a morally just way.
For a variety of reasons, however, an individual researcher may deviate from the path of good scientific conduct and then things can go awry. How to recognize and correctly deal with (suspicion of) scientific misconduct is crucial for maintaining personal and institutional scientific integrity. In essence it is an issue of dealing with dilemmas.
In a number of plenary and interactive lectures in two workgroups with assignments this Master Reflection Course aims to reach the following objectives.

Course objectives

The student:

  • will be introduced to Codes of Scientific Conduct and the (inter)national rules and regulations of research with humans and animals as an aid in developing good scientific conduct

  • will become aware of subjectivity and dilemmas in the scientific research process by reflection on and discussion of model cases and cases from the student’s own research environment

  • will practice discussion (in the English language) of issues that transcend biomedical and biopharmaceutical research

Mode of instruction and Course Language

Lectures and work groups, which will all be English-spoken.

Assessment method

Assessment of presentation and participation during the discussions, as well as of two reports that the student has to write.

Reading list

Will be distributed and or assigned by the teachers during the course.