The OeAWI raises awareness for the Standards of Good Scientific Practice among researchers as well as the general public. Application-oriented training about the Standards of Good Scientific Practice in all research activities is the Agency’s primary task.
The OeAWI offers advising as well as training about prevention. In national and international working groups, the Agency contributes to the development of policy documents.
The preventive measures of the OeAWI comprise the following activities:
- Development of policy documents
- Establishment of and contribution to working groups and networks
The Austrian Agency for Research Integrity provides its expertise on the prevention of research misconduct. Lectures, workshops and train-the-trainer-programs are made available. The professional development offered by the OeAWI encompasses various topics concerning research integrity, yet the overall aim is to promote Good Scientific Practice.
It is the premise of the OeAWI that active engagement and reflection are the most promising means to both preventing research misconduct and raising awareness. For that purpose, the short “Train-the-Trainer” program has been developed, which aims to introduce the fundamentals of research integrity to prospective trainers.
Moreover, the interactive training program teaches didactic methods to promote Good Scientific Practice.
Since 2010, the OeAWI has delivered about 150 lectures and workshops on the topic of research integrity.
The OeAWI is project partner in the EU-project VIRT2UE, in which a pan-European Train-the-Trainer program to facilitate research ethics and research integrity is being developed.
Development of Policy Documents
Guidelines for Good Scientific Practice
In 2015, the Guidelines were developed and aligned in collaboration with (then) 37 member organizations.
Best Practice Guide for Research Integrity and Ethics
The Best Practice Guide for Research Integrity and Ethics was developed by a working group chaired by Prof. Dr. Klement Tockner (Chair of the OeAWI, President of the FWF) with the co-operation of, among others, Dr. Nicole Föger (Managing Director of the OeAWI) and published by the Austrian Higher Education Conference. It includes basic principles of research integrity and research ethics, a collection of the tasks of ethics committees and research integrity committees in Austria, as well as fields of action for good research practice and research ethics, including best practice examples.
Revision of the European Code of Conduct
Responding to a request of the European Commission, the European Code of Conduct (2010) was updated. For this purpose, a working group was established in the Federation All European Academies (ALLEA). The working group in turn chose to include important stakeholders through a two-tier consulting process. The members of the European Network of Research Integrity Offices (ENRIO) were invited to submit their perspectives; thus, also OeAWI. In April 2017, the revised version of the Code was made public; it will be translated into other European languages.
Stakeholder Acting Together On the ethical impact assessment of Research and Innovation
The acronym SATORI stands for „Stakeholders Acting Together on the ethical impact assessment of Research and Innovation.“ SATORI has been funded by the EU in the context of the H2020 program. The project aimed to develop a common European framework of ethical principles and practices so as to promote a much better understanding of research ethics. As one of the invited stakeholders, Nicole Foeger was asked to discuss and review the final documents regarding the standards of “Ethics Assessment.”
Participation in National Working Groups and Networks
Working Group on Controlling and Preventing Plagiarism
In 2011, the Admin Office of the OeAWI established the working group “Controlling and Preventing Plagiarism.” Since then, representatives of more than 20 Austrian universities and research institutions have met twice a year. In 2015, following the recommendation of the working group, a uniform definition of the concept “plagiarism” was included in the Austrian Higher Education Act. This happened under the leadership of DDR. Karl-Gerhard Straßl and Mag. Martina Baravalle.
Austrian Ombudsman-Net of Higher Ed
In June 2016, the Ombudsman-Office for Students together with the OeAWI established the Austrian Ombudsman-Net of Higher Ed. The purpose of this network is to introduce systematic and goal-oriented strategies of addressing conflict and relationship management in higher education.
RRI - Platform Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Austria
The OeAWI is a member of the RRI Platform. This organization considers itself a competency network. It gathers relevant knowledge and experience connected to national and international RRI projects; it promotes research exchange; it raises awareness of the RRI concept among stakeholders and the general public; it supports RRI projects and through these activities, it assists implementing RRI in Austria.
Participation in International Working Groups and Networks
ENRIO - European Network of Research Integrity Offices
The European Network of Research Integrity Offices (ENRIO) is an informal network serving the purpose of promoting the exchange among national and other institutions that deal with questions about research integrity. Since 2009, the OeAWI has been a member. From April 2012 to October 2018, Nicole Foeger has served as Chair of ENRIO.
ENERI - European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity
The key objectives of the EU-project European Network of Research Ethics and Research Integrity (ENERI) are to intensify the exchange of information between experts in ethics and research integrity and to harmonize the processes within ethics reviews and investigations of alleged research misconduct.
Science Europe Working Group on Research Integrity
Science Europe is an umbrella organization of European Research Funding Organizations and Research Performing Organizations. In 2013, a working group on the topic of research integrity was established. Until 2015 Nicole Foeger represented the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) in this working group.
WCRI - World Conferences on Research Integrity
The World Conferences on Research Integrity foster the exchange of information and discussion about responsible conduct of research. In 2019, the sixth WCRI took place in Hong Kong.
Nicole Foeger served on the European Advisory Board of the 5th WCRI, and as a member of the Planning Committee of the 6th WCRI. In May 2018, she was elected to serve on the Governing Board of the WCRI Foundation.
ETINED - Pan-European Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education
The ETINED Platform is a network of specialists appointed by member States of the Council of Europe and of member States of the European Cultural Convention. The idea is that quality education will only be achieved, and corruption effectively addressed, if all relevant sectors of society commit fully to fundamental positive ethical principles.
Nicole Foeger was appointed by the Austrian Ministry to represent Austria on the platform.
MLE - Mutual Learning Exercise on Research Integrity
The Director General’s Office for Research and Innovation established a “Policy Support Facility” (PSF) within the Horizon 2020 program. The PSF provides best practice, independent high-level expertise and guidance at the request of Member States and Associated Countries through a number of services. Mutual Learning Exercises aim to identify examples of good practice, lessons learned, and success factors based on robust evidence. Nicole Foeger was appointed by the Austrian Ministry to represent Austria in the MLE.
Participation as Member of Advisory Boards
EnTIRE - Mapping Normative Frameworks for Ethics and Integrity of REsearch
EnTIRE is an EU-funded project with the purpose of establishing an online platform that would provide comprehensive information on the topic of research ethics and research integrity. Nicole Foeger is a member of the Advisory Board.
Path2Integrity - European project on Teaching Research Integrity
Path2Integrity is an European project, funded under the Horizon 2020 program. The project is supporting formal, as well as informal learning methods and strives to contribute to establishing a culture of research integrity. Nicole Foeger is a member of the Advisory Board.
ETHNA - Ethics Governance System for RRI in Higher Education, Funding and Research Centres
EnTIRE is an EU-funded project with the purpose of implementing and enforcing an internal management and procedural system of RRI within 6 European Higher Education, Funding and Research Centres. Nicole Foeger is a member of the Advisory Board.
Former participations in Advisory Boards
HEIRRI - Higher Education Institutions and Responsible Research and Innovation
HEIRRI is a European project which aims to integrate the concept of RRI into the formal and informal education of future researchers. Nicole Foeger was a member of the Multidisciplinary Contents Council (MCC).
PRINTEGER - Promoting Integrity as an Integral Dimension of Excellence in Research
PRINTEGER is an EU-project with the mission to improve integrity policies of national and international research organizations and to provide better tools for research leaders and managers. This project is funded by the European Union within the framework of Horizon 2020.