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Scientific integrity and social safety in SILS

At SILS, we value scientific integrity and a safe social environment. We aim to prevent undesirable behaviour. On this page you can find more background on these topics and an overview of services and departments you can turn to when experiencing integrity issues or unsafe situations.

Scientific Integrity at SILS

Within SILS all employees involved in research and teaching have their own responsibility for the maintenance of scientific integrity. As research institute SILS endorses the principles of the Dutch Code of Conduct Scientific Practice and has taken this as a guideline for its own Code of Conduct. This code commits the scientific practitioner to work in compliance with five principles: scrupulousness, reliability, verifiability, impartiality and independence.

The UvA's Faculty of Science has established a Faculty Ethics Committee (FEC) that its researchers can turn to for advice on ethical questions connected to their research proposals.
Ronald Koes is a member of the committee on behalf of SILS. 

Learn more about the Faculty Ethics committee here.

Our main rule is: always address any potential ethical issue as soon as it is encountered. A first step could be to check with colleagues to see if your views or observations are shared or not, but either way, the organisation should know about any potential issue. This can start with talking to your own superiors, and if needed can be escalated to a complaint issued to the University Ethics Committee. The following escalation ladder is suggested:

  1. Contact your superior, discuss the issue and decide on which further action to take.

  2. If the outcome is not satisfactory (for instance the problem is down‐played), or if this is too problematic (for instance because he/she is involved), contact the director of the research department or ask for advice at the FEC

  3. If this is not satisfactory, or too problematic, or if you prefer absolute confidentiality, contact one of the university ' 'Vertrouwenspersonen' (Confidential Advisors) to discuss the issue. They treat cases confidentially, and action is taken after mutual agreement. You can find them on the UvA page for Confidential Advisors for Academic Integrity.

  4. You can submit a formal complaint to the UvA Academic Integrity Committee, or alternatively to the Board of the University.


Social Safety at the UvA

The UvA (including SILS) is comitted to providing a positive study and work environment in which we treat each other with respect, nobody feels unsafe and everyone can develop their talents. We want everyone to be assured they have a safe basis for their work or studies and, if necessary, to conduct difficult or critical conversations. Students and staff must have the opportunity to address concerns, dilemmas and complaints within the UvA. They must feel they are safe to do so and that their report or complaint will be taken seriously.

During the 2019-2020 academic year an UvA taskforce will be working on an integrated approach to strengthening social safety for staff and students. For more information and an overview of different services and departments you can turn to if you experience unsafe situations or undesirable behaviour, go to the webpage on Social Safety