Three projects have each been awarded 75,000 euros to implement knowledge from previous projects from the Fostering Responsible Research Practices programme.

These include the establishment of a platform for knowledge and advice about responsible scientific editing policy, the organisation of workshops for hospital personnel to improve the implementation of guidelines and laws concerning the use of human material, and finally the provision of workshops and courses about the shared ideals for responsible biomedical research and how these can be applied in practice. With this approach, the programme will make an important contribution to responsive, transparent and responsible research practices.

In 2017, various projects started within the opening round of the Fostering Responsible Research Practices programme. These projects have now yielded promising results in the area of responsible research practices. ZonMw wants to ensure the implementation of this knowledge and experience. The project groups were therefore invited to submit an implementation plan in the Open Round – Implementation Call.

The following three projects were awarded funding:

Platform for Responsible Editorial Policies (PREP)

Project leader: Dr W. Halffman

The PREP project is a follow-up to the IMPER study into how scientific journals assess their publications using the peer-review procedure. We found pointers for the types of peer review that are more likely to ensure that articles are not first published and then retracted due to errors. In PREP, we will build a website about peer review on which academic journal editors can receive advice about how their peer review procedure could be improved. In exchange for that advice, we will, in turn, collect more data about the current peer review procedures of academic journals. We intend the PREP website to grow into a knowledge platform about responsible editing of academic journals. Recommendations about improved transparency and the responsible use of publication indicators will therefore be included.

PREP will be realised in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Technology Studies in Leiden.

Practical help towards responsible use of residual biospecimens and data in medical research in the Netherlands

Project leader: Dr M.K. Schmidt & Dr S. Rebers

For many disorders, human material, such as tumour tissue, is taken during an operation or for diagnostic purposes. Subsequently, surplus material often remains that can be used for scientific research. Dutch and European guidelines and laws govern the proper and transparent "further use" of human material with respect to privacy and consent, for example. The project group has developed a toolkit to help hospitals better implement these guidelines and laws. The toolkit contains technological and other resources, examples of good practices and implementation strategies. This project aims to facilitate the use of this toolkit by organising workshops. This meets the wishes of hospital employees to share experiences to facilitate the implementation. Moreover, specific knowledge acquired during the earlier project, especially about GDPR, will be translated into online flow diagrams to enable hospitals to use this knowledge in a practical way.

Stimulating Academic Gatekeeper Engagement in responsible research assessment (SAGE)

Project leader: Prof. S. de Rijcke

The project "ORR" has yielded a wealth of knowledge about the shared ideals of responsible biomedical research and the different ways in which these ideals are shaped in practice. In "SAGE", the researchers will translate the results to the practice of organising and evaluating biomedical research. With this, the focus will be on the "gatekeepers" at university medical centres who can contribute to changing the criteria for assessing and rewarding researchers. SAGE will result in: a workshop tailored to the organisation and a report for each of our two partner institutes (Deliverables 1 and 2); a two-day course for the responsible administrators working at all Dutch university medical centres (Deliverable 3); instructional videos about responsible evaluation for the purpose of the course, which will be made available online upon conclusion of the course (Deliverable 4).

More information

  • Programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices  The programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices funds research into responsible research practices. This programme therefore responds to the need for more quality, integrity and efficiency in scientific research.


"Evolution or Revolution" The researcher in 2030
On Thursday, 23 May 2019, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference "Evolution or Revolution?" which will be held at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. Would you like more information? Programme and registration


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