Integrity policy

Integrity Charter

As of 2018 all employees of Hasselt University – academic, administrative and technical – will sign the Integrity charter upon contractual signing.

The Integrity charter contains guidelines and focus points on academic and scientific integrity, people connected to Hasselt University, the confidentiality of certain information, the protection of research results (for possible valorisation), responsibility and respect.

We ask you to read the Integrity charter and brochure carefully and take it's message with you in your daily activities. Integrity is a challenge that we all share and a positive Integrity-culture at Hasselt University is a goal that we can only achieve by working together.

Download the UHasselt Integrity charter here (pdf, 40 KB)

Download the brochure here  (pdf, 2.6 MB)

Code of Conduct on Conflicts of Interest

Within the broad integrity policy, a Code of Conduct on Conflicts of Interest has been developed by the Steering Group Ethics and Integrity. It is approved by the Board of Governors.

This code of conduct creates a framework to eliminate ambiguities and prevent potential and effective conflicts of interest or abuse of power when professional and private relationships are potentially entangled. The code is based on transparency, responsibility and privacy principles and should provide staff and students with the necessary tools to deal with a (potential) conflict of interest.

Code of Conduct on Conflicts of Interest (pdf, 265 KB)

Magna Charta

Hasselt University endorses the principles of the Magna Charta Universitatum, signed in September 2017.

  1. The university is an autonomous institution: Research and education must be morally and intellectually independent of all political authority and economic power.
  2. Research and education should be inseparable if their tuition is not to lag behind changing needs, the demands of society, and advances in scientific knowledge.
  3. Freedom in research and training is the fundamental principle of the academic life. The goal of the university is to attain universal knowledge and to transcend geographical and political frontiers.

Compliance with these principles is overseen by the Magna Charta Observatory. By organizing events where researchers, policymakers and students meet to discuss related problems and search for answers, the Observatory guards institutional autonomy and academic freedom.


Human Rights

What are human rights?

The Commission on Human Rights defines a human rights violation as follows:

“The connection that may exist under the form of general explicit sympathy, financial dependence, product or technological relevance in the context of war or violation of human rights in the broadest sense.”

The Human Rights Commission reviews (applications for) collaborations where there may be a potential risk of human rights violations. The process and grounds on which collaborations are assessed are outlined below.


Human Rights Commission

  • Chairman: Sadia Vancauwenbergh
  • Vice-chairman: Saskia Bas
  • Secretary: Stephanie Ruysschaert
  • Expert Human Rights: Stijn Smet
  • Representative from DIOS: Ann Verstraeten
  • OBI Legal counsel: Debbie Melissas
  • ZAP representative per faculty/school
    • Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences: /
    • Faculty of Engineering Technology: Ali Pirdavani
    • Faculty of Sciences: Jan Van den Bussche
    • Faculty of Business Economics: Piet Pauwels
    • Faculty of Law: Stijn Smet
    • Faculty of Architecture and Arts: Elke Knapen
    • Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences: Wim Pinxten
    • School of Social Sciences: Itamar Shachar
    • School of Transportation Sciences: An Neven
    • School of Educational Studies: Elke Emmers

Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission is an umbrella UHasselt committee that deals with questions in the context of support and reports of a (potentially) problematic cooperation that one wishes to enter into or is already ongoing regarding a partner who may be involved in (serious) human rights violations or an activity that may violate human rights.

In addition, UHasselt drafted a clause in May 2022, which relates to safeguarding human rights in research collaborations. Through the systematic inclusion of the clause in agreements, the main aim is to contribute to the knowledge of human rights violations and point to increased vigilance in this regard.


Rules of procedure Human Rights Committee

The rules of procedure are available via this link. (pdf, 146 KB)

Human Rights Clause:

“The Parties guarantee that they will respect human rights. Either Party may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect by registered letter if the other Party is involved in a serious violation of human rights.”


“The Parties pledge to uphold human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Each Party shall have the right to terminate this Agreement immediately, by way of a written notice sent by registered mail, in case the other Party commits a substantial breach of human rights.” 

Flow for reviewing respect for human rights in collaborations

Step 1: If you wish to enter into a cooperation or you already have an existing cooperation, where you have doubts about respect for human rights, carry out the VLIR flashing light diagram. If the answer to 1 or more questions is “yes,” always follow the procedure below.

An investigator can always ask the Commission on Human Rights for advice on his own initiative, but the Commission on Human Rights can also initiate analyses on collaborations in which Human Rights may be at risk.

Step 2: Submission by the researcher to the Commission on Human Rights ( with the following completed documents:

Step 3: Expert human rights provides advice on the respect of human rights by the institution with which (potentially) to cooperate

Step 4: Analysis by the Commission on Human Rights considering the following components: advice on the institution, nature of the (research) activities, and attitude of the partner

Step 5: Decision by the Human Rights Commission is communicated to the researcher

5.a: If a positive decision is formulated, the cooperation can be started or continued. The Commission can ask the researcher to take extra measures with regard to the safeguarding of human rights (for example signing a declaration that the partner institution respects human rights, ...). In addition, the Commission can initiate monitoring and re-evaluation of the cooperation.

5.b: If a negative decision is formulated, the cooperation cannot be started or continued. The Commission provides a formal document that the researcher can use to record communication with the partner. In addition, the investigator can contact the UBI management for further support to end the collaboration.


4. Israel-Palestine

Human Rights Committee:
- UHasselt has the following ongoing collaborations with Israel
- Purchases from Israel are systematically screened.

UHasselt Policy:
- Statement of UHasselt policy
- Letter sent to the European Commission from the VLIR

Useful documents 

Integrity Charter:

VLIR Human Rights Review: 

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: 

UN Initiatives:


First aid kit for questions about Research Integrity


Are you a PhD student? Are there problems with your working relationship with your supervisor? Or have you encountered integrity issues in the course of your research? If so, get in touch. Together we’ll try to get your PhD back on track.


Are relations with your colleagues not going smoothly? Are you experiencing bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination or aggression? Or are you suffering physical or psychological harm as a result of the organisation of your work, or the content, conditions or circumstances of your employment? If so, get in touch with one of Hasselt University's seven confidants. We will be happy to listen to your problems and look for a solution together.


The contact point is there for all staff members (including doctorandi) and students of UHasselt. A report may concern transgressive behaviour by a student, staff member or visitor on campus.


Are you wondering whether the demands of your work are compatible with your capabilities? Do you have questions such as: Can I simply carry on working in the lab during my pregnancy? How can I avoid burnout? The Hasselt University occupational doctor monitors the health and wellbeing of our employees on a preventive basis.


Are you experiencing psychological and/or physical complaints as a result of your working conditions? Would you like to have the risks analysed, either formally or informally? If so, contact the health and safety adviser for psychosocial aspects. We devise preventive measures and receive requests for informal and formal psychosocial intervention.


Do you have questions about integrity within HR areas such as training, well-being, evaluation and functioning, employment status and careers? We’ll be happy to help you with all your integrity related questions and challenges.

  • HR business partners : Katrien Tips and Agna Dodion
  • More info


Hasselt University provides guidance for questions about responsible research and innovation. All information about ethics and research integrity can be found on this webpage.

Steering Group Ethics and Integrity


The Steering Group Ethics and Integrity is an overarching council, consisting of all chairman of the Ethical Committees, as well as representatives from the department of Research, Education and Staff.

The goal is to connect all ethical committees and exchange information about each other's work.

Important: the Steering Group does not handle complaints or problems.

The scope of the Steering Group Ethics and Integrity:

  • giving internal advice, both general and ad hoc, and suggesting measures regarding ethical and integrity issues;
  • coordinate ethical committees at Hasselt University, more specifically on the subject of regulation, composition, operation and procedures;
  • formulate recommendations for education and communication towards UHasselt-staff members and support initiatives to grow the UHasselt integrity culture.


  • the chairman of the commission for research integrity: Geert Molenberghs
  • the chairman of the medical ethics committee: Ivo Lambrichts
  • the chairman of the social and societal ethics committee: Johan Ackaert
  • the chairman of the commission for animal experimentation: Virginie Bito
  • the chairman of the Biosafety commission: Karen Smeets
  • the chairman of the human rights commission: Sadia Vancauwenbergh
  • a honorary member of the Flemish commission for research integrity: Marcel Ameloot
  • a ethicist: Wim Pinxten
  • the rector: Bernard Vanheusden
  • the vice rector research: Ken Haenen
  • the vice rector education: Wanda Guedens
  • the director from the department research (OBI): Sadia Vancauwenbergh
  • the director from the department education: Lien Mampaey
  • the director from the department staff: Karel Bosmans
  • a legal counsel from the rectorate department: Britt Loos
  • a representative from the department OBI: Stefanie Kerkhofs
  • a secretary from the department OBI: Stephanie Ruysschaert