ENERI developed and organised two boot camp activities, one for research ethics and one for research integrity. The boot camp for RIO members was held in Rome (April 2018), the one for REC members in Prague (March 2019).

Which kind of trainings do RIO and REC members need?

ENRIO and EUREC members are not only dealing with allegations of research misconduct or doing ethics reviews but also with raising awareness concerning research integrity and ethics through training activities. In the United States local research integrity officers have been offered specific training by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). Since for instance collected data and material in an investigation in the US are also used as legitimate evidence in court, the requirements in procedures are different compared to European standards or procedures for investigations. Also, according to RE, there are many training opportunities – including online courses – available in the US for REC members. A European/African online programme is established with TREE-eLearning. But a broad and systematic training programme in research ethics for those who will become an expert in ethical reviews and that is not only restricted to medical research is still missing or only selectively available. Therefore, ENERI developed and tested specific RIO and REC Boot Camp acvtivities.

The boot camp approach

The working methods are based on introductions to themes and active work on cases and dilemmas in smaller groups. The Boot Camp serves the purpose of pilot-testing materials, and thus, it is relevant to test at least a couple of case materials. Thus, the Boot Camp includes activating working methods (group work, simulation) to engage participants. Learner-centred methods facilitate higher-quality learning, i.e. deeper level learning and conceptual change. Role-play and simulation are teaching/learning activities which engages participants into taking an active role in their learning, and which mimic real/realistic situations. This feature is highly relevant for adult learners who often have the goal of being able to transfer their learning to a real-life context, such as work. Simulation and role play are relevant methods for dealing with ethics and integrity-related content as these encourage participants to recognise different perspectives and to understand the dynamics of systems or processes. Creating cases with continuity covering at least two themes is a demanding task, and for this purpose the case studies will draw on multifaceted real-life cases in modified and, where relevant, anonymised form. There are some high-profile cases, the use of which does not require anonymisation as the case will draw upon publicly available information and reports. In line with the simulation method, it is vital that participants can get a realistic feel of the materials they work with.

Preliminary results of the RIO Boot Camp were published in our 2nd Newsletter. For further information see our reports: