Jump to top menu Jump to main menu Jump to content

Research integrity at Erasmus MC

Regarding research integrity 

All persons associated with the Erasmus MC, and working in science, have a strict responsibility to adhere to European, national and local professional research codes and practices regarding research integrity and ethics. Erasmus MC endorses the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands and the revised European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Important principles of ethical research practice are transparency, due care, reliability, verifiability, impartiality and independence of research.


Erasmus MC Research Code

Erasmus MC policies on research integrity are outlined in the Erasmus MC Research Code.

The Erasmus MC Research Code covers amongst others:

  • Managing within an ethical research and education environment
  • Research with patients, biomaterials and laboratory animals
  • Data management
  • Guidelines for publishing and authorships
  • Third party relations
  • Guidelines inducements by companies and financial conflict of interests
  • Intellectual property

Research integrity education

A mandatory one-day course research integrity for all PhD students  is part of the policy. For queries please contact the Erasmus MC Graduate School

For Principal Investigators with supervising responsibilities, a one-day course on research integrity is available. For queries please contact us.

Research Integrity Office

Having doubts about your own approach in your research? Or do you suspect that someone else is manipulating data or sources, presenting results incorrectly, handling data carelessly or is dependent on political or commercial influences, for example? It is important not to keep this to yourself but to get in touch and discuss the situation.

As an employee or student you can contact our Research Integrity Officer (RIO). This contact person can help you to prevent violations of research integrity and advise you on a diligent and ethical approach. This will always take place on a completely confidential basis. The RIO can mediate in some situations or can try to solve a problem in a different way. The RIO is neutral. If you contact the RIO, you will also find out more about the possibility of filing a complaint for investigation. Any follow-up actions will only be taken with your consent.

In case you choose to submit a complaint about an employee of the Erasmus MC, the complaints procedure applies. The Executive Board will ask our Research Integrity Committee to investigate the complaint. 

If you want to contact the RIO or submit a complaint, please contact the secretary for research integrity.

Ethical review of research

When it comes to medical scientific research on humans, ethical review is required by law (WMO). The Medical Ethical Review Committee (METC) guidelines and procedures can be found on their website.

For research involving human subjects, data or materials that is not subject to the WMO (such as observations, questionnaires, and biobanking), the Erasmus MC has a separate committee for ethical review (the non-WMO committee).

Ancillary activities

The independence and integrity of our scientific staff are always paramount in Erasmus MC's scientific practice and research. We therefore consider it important to be open, complete and transparent about the ancillary activities of Heads of Departments and (associate) professors at Erasmus MC.

With regard to the concept of ancillary positions, the annual request is in line with Article 9.3 of the CAO-UMC and the "Sectorale Regeling Nevenwerkzaamheden" (CAO-NU). Erasmus MC defines ancillary activities as those activities performed by an Erasmus MC employee that are not directly part of the applicable job description. Activities that are an extension of the assigned tasks (within Erasmus MC) or activities that (may) affect the performance of the employee's tasks or the interests of Erasmus MC are also ancillary activities. This is irrespective of (i) the extent of the employment at Erasmus MC, (ii) the scope of the ancillary activities, (iii) whether the person involved receives a remuneration for the ancillary activities, and (iv) whether the activities are performed outside or during working hours (v) incidental or structural. Sources:

Financial Conflict of Interest Policy

A conflict of interest occurs when an employee, or the department/section he or she works in, has  financial or personal ties with other persons or organisations which could influence the research or other activities that are performed within Erasmus MC. The extent of this influence ranges from negligible to substantial. Financial interests (such as financial entitlements, paid consultancies, equity interests, gifts, royalties) are the easiest sources of conflicts of interest to identify but the most likely to undermine scientific independence. A conflict of interest can, however, also exist without the employee being aware of it. Conflicts of interest are often associated with the interests of (pharmaceutical and other types of) companies, but they can also stem from personal relationships. Research sponsored by the government or other funding agencies could also give rise to conflicts of interest.
Click here for the Erasmus MC policy on Financial Conflict of Interest.

FCOI related to PHS funded projects

For Erasmus MC researchers participating in projects funded by the US Public Health Service (PHS), e.g. the National Institutes of Health (NIH), additional requirements regarding awareness and reporting of conflicts of interest apply, as described in the Financial Conflict of Interest policy related to PHS-funded projects.

Knowledge Security

Knowledge security is first and foremost about preventing the undesirable transfer of sensitive knowledge and technology. Transfer is undesirable if it compromises our country’s national security. Knowledge security also entails the covert influencing of education and research by other states. Such interference places academic freedom and social safety in jeopardy. Finally, knowledge security involves ethical issues that can be at play in collaboration with countries that do not respect fundamental rights.

Effective risk reduction first requires the accurate identification of sensitive knowledge areas. Examples include knowledge that has been developed for military applications or dual-use technologies. Knowledge areas that fall outside the scope of export control can also be sensitive. Examples include the domains (or sub-domains) of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and quantum technology. Here, an increased risk of unethical application of research results may exist, for instance related to mass surveillance programmes.

The Erasmus MC is currently working on installing an advisory committee and creating awareness around this topic. Do you have any questions about international partnerships? Do not hesitate to contact the National Contact Point for Knowledge Security. 

Related Documents