Research integrity

The mission of Utrecht University is to provide young people with an academic education and to carry out groundbreaking research. An organisational culture of scrupulousness and integrity is crucial in this. In this organisational culture, employees have a critical attitude and they can address shortcomings.

Contents of this page:

Codes of Conduct

First of all, scrupulousness and integrity are researchers and students' personal responsibilities. In order to encourage and monitor this responsibility, Utrecht University has set principles and goals in a Code of Conduct: the Code of Conduct for Scrupulous Research Practice and Integrity (pdf). This Code of Conduct is an addition to the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity 2018 (pdf) of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (Vereniging van Universiteiten, VSNU).

Faculty-specific Contact Persons

If a student or employee has any dilemmas or questions regarding their own academic work, they can always contact one of the faculty-specific contact persons for research integrity. These contact persons have been appointed for preventive purposes.

Complaints about or suspicions of violations of research integrity are not dealt with by the faculty-specific contact persons. This is the task of the Research Integrity Committee.

Anyone who wants to speak to someone in confidence about a alleged violation of research integrity can contact the Confidential Advisor Research Integrity.

Confidential Advisor Research Integrity

Do you have any questions or complaints about research integrity, or are there suspected violations of research integrity? You can confidentially discuss these matters with the Confidential Advisor Research Integrity of Utrecht University.

The confidential advisor is also available to students and researchers of UMCU.

Email Address: vertrouwenspersoon-wi@uu.nl

The Confidential Advisor Research Integrity:

  • will serve as an approachable point of contact for questions and complaints about research integrity;
  • will – if this appears to be an option – attempt to mediate or otherwise resolve the complaint through an amicable solution;
  • will explain how the complainant can submit a complaint to the Board;
  • may not assist the complainant and the defendant at the same time;
  • will only perform acts for the benefit of the complainant or the defendant with their permission.

The complainant decides whether a complaint is to be submitted to the Executive Board. This can be done by mail (Executive Board, p.a. Legal Affairs Department, Postbus 80125, 3508 TC Utrecht) or by email to secr.jz@uu.nl. The Board will then ask the Research Integrity Committee to investigate the complaint.

The full complaints procedure can be found in the Utrecht University Research Integrity Complaints Procedure 2019 (pdf).

Research Integrity Committee (Commissie Wetenschappelijke Integriteit, CWI)

An official complaint of violation of research integrity will be investigated by the Research Integrity Committee of Utrecht University. This committee is chaired by Professor Dr Ir J.A.P. (Hans) Heesterbeek. The committee is supported by lawyers from the Legal Affairs department.

Based on its investigation, the committee advises the Executive Board.

Ethical review for research on humans

When it comes to medical scientific research on humans, ethical review is required by law. For this, you can turn to the Medisch Ethische Toetsingscommissie (Dutch website).

Faculty's Ethical Review Committee (FETC)

More and often, ethical reviews are also requested for non-medical academic research that involves human test subjects (such as observations, interviews, questionnaires, tasks or experiments). That is why Utrecht University has Faculty's Ethical Review Committees (FETCs).

The FETC provides a professional, ethical and independent review of proposals for research on humans and advises on this.