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Legal and Ethics Office (LEO)
VUB bases its education, research, and social and scientific services on the principle of Free Research. LEO contributes to the application of that principle by providing training and support so that researchers can carry out their activities within a legally correct and ethical-scientific framework. We expect VUB researchers to comply with the legal rules and ethical practices of their own research domain, the laws and regulations, the general ethical principles of national and international codes, and the standards of research integrity.
VUB endorses the European Charter for Researchers and applies its principles in its policy and management. Further information about VUB's own principles and policy on ethics and research integrity can be found in the VUB Charter for the Researcher.
VUB strives to create an optimal research climate. We recognise and implement the principles of scientific integrity in our policy and governance as stipulated in a number of key documents such as the European Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity of ALLEA and the European Charter for Researchers.
VUB implements those principles by, on the one hand, translating them into its own Charter for the Researcher and on the other hand by cooperating with the Flemish Commission for Scientific Integrity (VCWI) and the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR).
Researchers take personal responsibility for scientific integrity. They must be aware of and respect standards of scientific integrity and good scientific practice. These standards are the basis for qualitative and socially relevant research.
Breaches of the principles of scientific integrity and against good scientific practice are handled by the VUB's Committee for Scientific Integrity (CWI). The committee issues an opinion on whether or not a breach has occurred. It is supported by the Legal and Ethics Office.
The Legal and Ethics Office offers the following services in support of researchers:
- The office is a contact point for obtaining advice on social integrity and good scientific practice.
- It acts as a hotline to report breaches of scientific integrity and good scientific practice.
- It organises online and live training courses on scientific integrity and good scientific practice.
ADVISOR ETHICS IN RESEARCH
Wito De Schrijver
E-mail address: Wito.De.Schrijver@vub.be
Tel.: +32 2 629 21 39
LAWYER LEGAL & ETHICS OFFICE
Petra Cour jaret
E-mail address: Petra.Courjaret@vub.be
Tel.: +32 2 629 38 08
CONSULTANT ETHICS & RESEARCH INTEGRITY
E-mail address: John.Pearson@vub.be
Tel.: +32 2 629 21 49
LAWYER LEGAL & ETHICS OFFICE
E-mail address: Klara.Swalus@vub.be
Tel.: +32 2 629 22 25
Ethics and research
The researcher takes personal responsibility for reflecting on research ethics and the potential implications of research for participants, the environment, and society as a whole. We expect researchers to know and respect the ethical principles of their own academic discipline and the fundamental ethical standards and principles laid down in (inter)national and institutional ethics codes and legislation (see the Charter for the Researcher of VUB - under documents on this page).
VUB works to support its researchers as much as possible by offering a strong ethical-scientific framework. On the one hand, we make researchers aware of certain ethical dilemmas that may arise during their research and give them the tools to deal with these. For example, VUB organises an annual "Ethics Week". We have also established ethics committees. VUB has 4 ethics committees, whose tasks include evaluating research at the ethical level and approving or rejecting research on the basis of that evaluation.
Our Ethics Committees
The Legal & Ethics Office (LEO) supports 3 of the 4 Ethics Committees, namely the Ethics Committee on Animal Experiments (ECD), the Ethics Committee on Human Sciences (ECHW) and the Ethics Committee on Dual-Use, Military Research, & Misuse (ECDMM). The Medical Ethics Committee (CME) is supported by an office within UZ Brussels, the university hospital of VUB.