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Update scientific integrity at NWO-I

Working together on a safe scientific environment

As announced in the June 2021 edition of Inside NWO-I, the NWO Institutes will pay extra attention to scientific integrity. ‘Science needs to be conducted as honestly, meticulously and responsibly as possible’, says Peter van der Laan (NSCR). For the Institutes Organisation, NWO-I produced a separate complaints procedure for (suspected) violations of scientific integrity by NWO-I employees. This article brings you the latest scientific integrity news, such as the newly appointed confidential advisers, the online scientific integrity training for PhDs, and the Dilemma Game app from Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Confidential counsellors scientific integrity

NWO-I has appointed two confidential counsellors for scientific integrity: Dr Tanja Kulkens, Head of Chemistry and Physics at NWO, and Prof. Thom Palstra, Professor of Solid State Chemistry at the University of Twente. Both of them can be reached via The confidential counsellors can provide guidance during the submission of a complaint, but are mainly there to advise employees in situations in which it is unclear whether there is a violation of scientific integrity and what to do about this. Confidential counsellors guarantee complete anonymity for the entire procedure, from submission of a complaint to its handling. The confidential counsellor will only initiate follow-up actions with the consent of the reporting person.

Online PhD training scientific integrity

NWO-I wants to ensure that its PhDs remain aware of scientific integrity in daily practice. Making integrity discussable is vital because it contributes to an open, safe and inclusive research culture in which good scientific conduct is safeguarded. NWO-I therefore offers four online modules that can also be combined with the Dilemma Game app (see later in this article). This training is for all NWO-I PhDs as well as researchers in their first year of appointment. You can find more information about this training on the NWO-I website.

Scientific Integrity Desk

NWO-I has its own Complaints Procedure for Scientific Integrity NWO-I Institutes, which applies to complaints about (suspected) violations of scientific integrity by an employee of NWO-I. Complaints about a (suspected) violation of scientific integrity by an employee of NWO-I can be submitted to the Scientific Integrity Desk via For more information, see the NWO-I website.

Culture: the Dilemma Game app

Scientific integrity can only be properly discussed if there is a safe culture in which you can openly talk about difficult questions or dilemmas. In the coming period, NWO-I wants to contribute to that culture within its institutes by organising workshops and offering, for example, the Dilemma Game app. After all, integrity is not just a question of right or wrong. During his or her career, every researcher comes up against dilemmas. Making these and larger dilemmas discussable is necessary for exploring and safeguarding good scientific behaviour. The Erasmus University Rotterdam developed the Dilemma Game app, which stimulates open and critical dialogue about scientific integrity and professionality in research. Via the app, you can consult dilemmas from science anytime and anywhere, individually or together with fellow students and colleagues. More information about this free app that can be used by everybody can be found here.

Workshops scientific integrity

Recently, ARCNL, DIFFER and NSCR each organised a workshop about scientific integrity in which they underlined the importance of acting with scientific integrity, discussed possible dilemmas and introduced the confidential counsellors for scientific integrity. You can read the detailed report about these workshops here.

More information

See the NWO-I website for information about how NWO-I deals with the Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity.

Newsletter Inside NWO-I, November 2021

Confidental Infomation