Responsible research

Scientific Integrity

Information for UHasselt researchers

Hasselt University monitors the principles of responsible research & innovation and has already undertaken numerous initiatives to ensure this. The University subscribes to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Ethics for Scientific Research in Belgium, which are keys to good scientific culture and practice.

In addition, Hasselt University will start a sensitization campaign in the 2017-2018 academic year about the implementation of the Integrity charter. Furthermore Hasselt University has a Commission on Scientific Integrity (CSI) that guards the scientific integrity.

Research Integrity Training

Mind the GAP Tool 

Mind the GAP (Good Academic Practices) is a novel online training tool on research
integrity aimed at PhD students and more experienced researchers, jointly developed by
the five universities in Flanders, Belgium.

The KEY COMPONENTS of the practice are its 4 main modules. In addition to that the training tool
also provides exercises (‘test your mind for GAPs’) that will help the participant understand and
practice certain principles.

The Mind the GAP Tool can be found on Blackboard under organizations

Ethical Code

An ethical code contributes to the quality of scientific research and justifies research for the outside world. The researcher shows the financier and society that the scientific world develops its own means to perform scientific research in a responsible way.

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity was recently revised by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities. This revision mainly relates to new challenges like the consequences of technological developments, open science, citizen science and social media.

Together with the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, the Code of Ethics for Scientific Research in Belgium applies as a basis and as a reference for evaluating reports.

The Code acknowledges and expounds upon the following principles:

- Accuracy and caution

- Reliability and verifiability

- Independence and impartiality 

For misconduct committed by researchers during their tenure at Hasselt University or their academic commitment at a partner University College, please contact the Commission on Scientific Integrity.

Magna Charta

More information 


More information 

Commission for Scientific Integrity

About CWI

The trust students, colleagues, financiers and the society have in science, isn’t so self-evident. This scientific integrity has to be protected. But making a judgment whether or not someone or something exceeds the bounds of integrity, is not that simple.

This is why the Board of Governors at Hasselt University founded a Commission for Scientific Integrity (CSI) in 2013. Based on their procedure rules the CSI decides if the “Codes of Ethics for Scientific Research in Belgium” has been violated.


The CWI is responsible for:

  • The examination of the reports of problematic behavior and the formulation of the advices on the necessary actions;
  • The suggestion of procedure adjustments if necessary;
  • The examination of questions about scientific integrity, on their own behalf and on behalf of the Research Council, the Doctoral School Board, the Board of Deans and/or the Board of Governors.


If you have any questions considering scientific integrity at Hasselt University you can contact the contact point Scientific Integrity:



Anyone can report an alleged violation at the central reporting point:

Commission Scientific Integrity (CSI)
Research coordination office – Hasselt University
Martelarenlaan 42



Anyone involved in a CSI procedure, including the accused, the reporter and the institution, may also request a second opinion from the Flemish Commission for Scientific Integrity (FCSI). This second opinion must be submitted to the FCSI within the month following the decision of the University College CSI.

The FCSI was established in October 2013 on the initiative of the Scientific Research Fund. Her task is limited to:

  • advise on specific files which are already considered in one or more of the committees for scientific integrity within the Flemish universities
  • advise on more general questions regarding this matter due to scientific institutions in Flanders


Vlaamse Commissie Wetenschappelijke Integriteit (VCWI)

Paleis der Academiën
Hertogstraat 1


Ethical Committees

Hasselt University strives for scientific integrity and asks all researchers to prioritise ethics in their individual research activities. An ethical approval is required before the start of the work package that contains the ethical sensitive research activities. In order to help support these ethical requirements, an UHasselt working group has created a decision tree for ethical committees at Hasselt University. (Currently only available in Dutch)

Committee for Medical Ethics

The Committee for Medical Ethics (CME UHasselt) has an advising role within the cope of all protocols concerning experiments of the human subject and all human materials.

More information can be found here (only available in Dutch)

Ethical Committee for Animal Experimentation

The Ethical Committee for Animal Experimentation (ECAE):

  • evaluates planned tests
  • monitors the required level of education and competence of the people who participate in the tests
  • sets out criteria for ethical aspects regarding animal testing
  • provides advice to users, test leaders and employees on the ethical aspects of animal testing
  • carries out a retrospective analysis of all projects
  • ensures that planned tests fulfill Belgian and European legislation.

More information can be found here 

Biosafety Committee

More information here, only available in Dutch

Social and Societal Ethics Committee

The Social and Societal Ethics Committee (SMEC) evaluates ethical and deontological issues that might occur in research on human subjects not related to health science practices, including medical or pharmacological procedures.

Ethical clearance is required for research proposals funded by Europe, SB, BOF and FWO.

More information can be found here (only available in Dutch)

Human Rights Committee

Under construction

Information Safety Committee

More information 

Dual use and misuse

Dual Use

“Dual use items” are items, including software and technology, which can be used for both civil and military purposes. They can be used for the development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

The European dual use regulation imposes an authorization requirement for the export of dual use items to countries outside the European Union. If a product is on the list of products from Annex I of the regulation, which is updated annually, authorization is always required. Dual use items that are not on the list can still fall under the licensing requirement if the country of destination is subject to an arms embargo and the research output may be intended for military end use or used for the production and distribution of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction.


The term "misuse" is defined as "research that could be misused for unethical purposes". Although such research is carried out with benign intentions, its results can be used by people with malicious intentions to cause harm to humans, animals or the environment. An example is research that can be used in the context of terrorism or crime or that can result in chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons.

When drawing up an application for research, researchers must carry out a risk assessment and take appropriate security and safety measures to cover the risks.

More information

More information can be found in the Guidelines for researchers on dual use and misuse of research, drawn up by the Working Group on Dual Use of the Flemish Inter-University Council.

You can also use Flowchart Dual Use (only available in Dutch) to determine whether your research falls under Dual Use or Misuse and what steps you should take.


If you have any questions about dual use and/or misuse, you can contact the contact point dual use at UHasselt:, provided you use the reporting form.

Nagoya protocol

General information

The Nagoya Protocol applies to the collection, acquisition and use of genetic resources (such as seeds, plants and other living organisms) from other countries. It entered into force on 12 October 2014.

The Protocol implements the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity. It lays down rules on access to genetic resources from other countries and aims at a fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from their utilization.

Content of the Nagoya Protocol

By signing the Nagoya Protocol, user countries undertake to ensure compliance with the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) regulations applicable in supplier countries. Supplying countries, for their part, undertake to ensure that their ABS regulations are fair, clear and transparent.

Supplying countries may make access to genetic resources subject to a Prior Informed Consent (PIC). For the use of these resources, the user and the supplying country shall agree on Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) on the sharing of the benefits arising from the use of these resources.

ABS Regulation

The European Union has laid down rules to implement the Nagoya Protocol in the ABS Regulation. This regulation obliges users of genetic resources to exercise due diligence in order to ensure the legal acquisition of the genetic resources and the sharing of the benefits arising from their use. Member States have an obligation to verify that users are complying with these obligations.

Useful links and documents and

More information about the Nagoya Protocol can be found in the Nagoya Protocol Factsheet.

On the website of the ABS Clearing House you can find information about the countries that are party to the Nagoya Protocol and about the regulations in other countries. This website also contains the contact details of the national authorities.

To determine whether your research falls within the scope of Nagoya or other ABS legislation, you can use the Flowchart 2.0.

The Contact manual describes how you can contact the country of origin of the genetic resources.


If you have any questions about the Nagoya Protocol, you can contact the UHasselt Nagoya Protocol contact point: To help you as quickly as possible, we ask you to fill in the Assessment form concerning the Nagoya Protocol and the ABS Regulation in advance, as far as possible, and send it to us together with your question.

GDPR in research

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guards the protection of personal data and implies various rights and obligations for the data subject, the data processor and the data controller.

For research data the rights and obligations of the GDPR are part of a bigger picture: the research data management policy of Hasselt University. Research data may include personal data and the researcher must oblige the GDPR throughout his research data management. Good research data management should also observe other legal, ethical and integrity principles besides the GDPR.

More information can be found here.

VLIR-FAQ for GDPR on research