The OeAWI focuses on information and raising awareness
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 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.
In 2015, the Guidelines were developed and aligned in collaboration with (then) 37 member organizations.
The OeAWI commissioned the development of Guidelines on the Issue of Dual-Use. By “dual use” one means the potential usability of an asset (e.g., a machine, software, technology) for both civil and military purposes. Upon completion, the Guidelines will be made available to the members of the Agency.
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.
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 aims 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.”
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.
Upon the request of the Ministry, a working group on the topic of “Research Ethics and Research Integrity” was established in April 2018. It is the purpose of this working group to develop a strategy document—to be completed within a year.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The World Conferences on Research Integrity foster the exchange of information and discussion about responsible conduct of research. In 2019, the sixth WCRI will take place in Hong Kong.
Nicole Foeger served on the European Advisory Board of the 5th WCRI, and is 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HEIRRI is a European project which aims to integrate the concept of RRI into the formal and informal education of future researchers. Nicole Foeger is a member of the Multidisciplinary Contents Council (MCC).