The Fostering Responsible Research Practices (FRRP) programme funds research on research, addressing the need for greater quality, integrity and efficiency in academic research.
The key requirements of science are integrity, quality and social impact. Unfortunately, not all research meets these requirements. The most extreme cases may even involve wilful wrongdoing, such as the fabrication of data. Between data fabrication and good practices there is a large grey area of questionable research practices, however, some of them deliberate and some of them accidental. One example is the use of unsuitable research methods to support a hypothesis. Such practices undermine confidence in science.
Questionable research practices may take place at different levels: the individual level, in the institutional culture, or in the science system as a whole. Likely causes include:
There is no shortage of theories and opinions about the factors that influence the science system, but remarkably little research has been done on the matter. This national programme covering the entire field of science will reveal factors that contribute to responsible science, such as the peer review system, the use of bibliometrics and the value of Open Access. With this knowledge, scientists and practitioners can improve their practices, and confidence in science and the applicability of its results will be enhanced.
The programme consists of a number of calls for proposals (‘pillars’), each with its own goals, conditions and possible partners.
FRRP is a five-year programme. So far, four organizations made financial contributions: ZonMw, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU) and the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation.
For more information, see the full programme description and corresponding appendices.