About this programme

About this programme

The Fostering Responsible Research Practices (FRRP) programme funds research on research, addressing the need for greater quality, integrity and efficiency in academic research.

Questionable research practices

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:

  1. at individual level: justification of wrongdoing, conflict of interest, moral attitude and individual character;
  2. in the professional environment: inappropriate role models, insufficient supervision, lack of training in responsible research practices, absence of clear guidelines;
  3. within the system as a whole: pressure to publish, stiff competition, low risk that questionable research practices will be discovered, while the rewards for results are high.

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.

Structure of the programme

The programme consists of a number of calls for proposals (‘pillars’), each with its own goals, conditions and possible partners.

Goal of Pillar 1 – Open Call
Goal of Pillar 2 – National audit
Goal of Pillar 3 – Project life cycles
Goal of Pillar 4 – National survey

Duration and financiers

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.

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