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Postgraduate School Fostering Responsible Conduct of Research Programme

Author: DPGS

Capacity Building in Responsible Research Conduct for Postgraduate Students and Supervisors in Partnership with Ghent University

Capacity Building in Responsible Research Conduct for Postgraduate Students and Supervisors in Partnership with Ghent University

The DPGS, in partnership with Ghent University and in collaboration with Staff Development, provided 15 PhD students and their supervisors with training on how to establish and follow a culture of responsible research conduct as researchers, departments and faculties. The DPGS intent to firmly establish a train-the-trainer cohort in postgraduate research ethics with stakeholders who think alike.  The training took place 4-5 October 2016. A representative and PhD student from each neighbour institution in the province were also invited to share in this event and as a result collectively benefit from the longstanding partnership between UWC and Ghent University.                                                   

Prof Lorna Holtman, who officially welcomed the participants on behalf of Prof Bertie Fielding (acting DVC for Research & Innovation), stated that national and international drivers emphasise, now more than ever, the importance of research, innovation and the role of higher education.  She continued by highlighting the growing body of research for the last 35 years regarding research behavior which has slowly provided a more complete and critical understanding of research practices. The consensus that emerged from the research and its debates broadly separated research behaviors into three categories: 1) deliberate misconduct, commonly defined as fabrication, falsification & plagiarism (FFP - worst behaviour); 2) questionable research practices (QRP); and 3) responsible conduct of research (RCR –  ideal behavior). Prof. Holtman explained that an initiative such as this is directly linked to the vision of the School for Graduate Studies (SGS) calumniating from the DPGS which is: to provide an empowering and advantageous environment for the pursuit of high quality postgraduate studies and research.  She       indicated that more of these events are planned for 2017 and which will be linked with discipline specific research conduct.  Postgraduate students and staff should make contact with the DPGS and/or Staff Development in order to register in time for the next events. 

The training was facilitated by Dr Nele Bracke, Dr Katrien Daemen – De Gelder and Dr Dieter De Bruyn from the Graduate School at Ghent University.  Each of the participants were presented with a “Proud to be R.I.Ch button as an ‘award’ for completing the training and as a reminder for their commitment to establish and follow a culture of Research Integrity.

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