The common objective for the scientific community is that the proposed network improves the ethical standards and standards on good scientific practice. The common objective for the society is to achieve clarity and calculability for industry and sponsors, transparency for patients and consumers, and reliability for policy and law makers. Therefore responsible research, public governance, legal policies and ethical reflections need to go hand in hand through a process of mutual exchange and learning among those who are actively involved in ethical reviews and in observing and promoting research integrity. The project will contribute to the demand of modern societies to understand and to improve standards of living and health (HORIZON 2020 Working Programme) as a holistic societal process of which research is an integral part. In practice different, ethical reviews and monitoring integrity need to be linked given their common outlook on good scientific practice, as well as lacks of communication, training, harmonisation and certification. Merging the fields of research ethics and research integrity will join both aforementioned procedures and evaluations, thus creating synergies of significant added value to research and society.

What are ENERI’s central goals?
To achieve a sustainable mutual learning process and an active exchange of experiences among the existing networks and between various stakeholders there is a need to develop appropriate communication tools allowing borderless communication among all partners involved. This will encourage all partners to actively share their perspectives, knowledge and experience in the field and to hear and take into consideration the perspectives, knowledge and experience of others in their own field of activities. In this process, the platform ENERI of research ethics and research integrity will also encourage interaction with other stakeholders and society at large. This will facilitate several types of actions:

sharing experiences: communication and exchange

  • forming a permanent communication and working platform for research ethics and research integrity to enhance both branches and to develop also the benefits of the synergies between both; (WP2, WP 3, WP 5)
  • organizing joint workshops and cross border hearings and brokerage conferences that will bring together the involved networks and other relevant stakeholders that are not directly involved in the project; this is to create a culture that encourage the use of the communication tools and active participation of all partners in the dialogue within the project and to envisage new ways of exchange (WP 1, WP 2)
  • producing an up-to-date detailed comparison and benchmarking analysis of cases, good practice and models of excellence related to research ethics and research integrity based on literature survey, databases and experiences of RECs and RIOs and results of the stakeholder workshops; (WP 2, WP 3)

improving competence: training and capacity building

  • designing training materials and tools for capacity building; to translate the mutual learning processes into ways of capacity building and training for members of RECs, RIOs, researchers (including young researchers), teachers and those who will or want to be involved as evaluaters of research proposals and in other ethical assessment procedures; (WP 4, WP 2)
  • providing easy accessible training materials, courses and curricula; the developed training models should consider that reflective scientists and reflective institutions are not about top-down dogmatic lists of ethical ‘facts’ but need spaces to discuss and develop their ethical understandings and positions in a bottom-up process to form a habit of integrity (WP4, WP2)

ensuring awareness: indicators of effectiveness and certification

  • implementing measures of evaluation and monitoring the process of improving competences in research ethics and research integrity by developing measurable indicators for the effectiveness of the proposed activities (in particular the success of training) (WP 6, WP 4)
  • evolving the indicators into certification mechanisms (WP 6)

enhancing interaction: harmonisation and synergies:

  • establishing a dynamic database of experts in research ethics and research integrity that will be linked with SYNAPSE and be managed by the community of experts (WP 5)
  • assessing the feasibility of developing voluntary harmonisation procedures (VHP) and related certification in the fields of research ethics and research integrity (WP 2, WP3)
  • developing a methodology to record and measure the implementation of new EU legal documents like the new regulation on clinical trials or other relevant normative documents (WP 2)