The college follows The European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Taking into account the ethical aspects of research practices has a particular significance in the European legal framework as the European Union is founded on a common ground of shared values laid out in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The charter recognises a range of personal, civil, political, economic and social rights. The Cologne European Council of June 1999 entrusted the task of drafting a charter to a convention. The Lisbon Treaty incorporates the charter into the Treaty of the European Union, giving the charter an equal legal effect, and states that all European legislation needs to conform to the principles of the charter. Consequently, this also applies to the European research policy. The European Charter of Fundamental Rights contains several principles which can be relevant in the context of research. These principles form the basis of important ethic guidelines, but also support conduct in research.
Article 3 – Right to the integrity of the person
Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity. In the fields of medicine and biology, the following must be respected in particular:
Article 7 – Respect for private and family life.
Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life and home.
Article 8 – Protection of Personal Data
Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her. Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified. Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.
Article 13 – Freedom of the Arts and Sciences
The arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Academic freedom shall be respected.
Code of Conduct for Research Integrity
The mission of the college is to promote integrity and excellence in the practice of research. In doing so, the college has a responsibility to ensure that all research carried out under its umbrella is conducted to the highest standard in accordance with the law and public interest.
All research activities are based on fundamental principles of research integrity:
Reliability in ensuring the quality of research, reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources.
Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way.
Respect for colleagues, research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment.
Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organization, for training, supervision and mentoring, and for its wider impacts.