On Friday 9th of March 2018, EARMA and the European Commission co-hosted a workshop on ethics and research integrity. It was the launch of the EARMA thematic group on this subject. The new group of practitioners (ERION: Research Ethics and Integrity Officers Network) will focus on the exchange of best practices for issues as, for example, how do you deal with ethics and research integrity at your organisation and what information can we share as a community to help improve the day-to-day reality. Discussing the latest information and developments, ERION will work on solutions to deal with the ever evolving requirements and how to confidently help your organisation handle Ethics or Integrity issues.

48 people from 17 countries attended the event. In the plenary morning session EC representatives presented the current state of play and the GDPR, followed by three presentations from the community about such topics as a research integrity policy plan. In the afternoon, the group broke up into small groups to discuss the current challenges in more detail. This input will form the basis for the work in ERION. A report is set to be published at the start of April, then the group will be formally established. This is an EARMA group formed with the support of the Ethics and Research Integrity Sector of DG RTD of the European Commission (ERIS). The sector was represented by Isidoros Karatzas (Head of Sector, picture on the right) and Albena Kuyumdzhieva (Programme Manager – Research/Ethics Review).

The ERION thematic group will act as a stakeholder group to ERIS to provide ERIS with input from the practitioner level to develop their rules and procedures going forward. This will also improve overall communication between practitioners in the area and ERIS. It is EARMA’s goal to ensure that the voice of the RMA/practitioner community is heard. The primary goal of the group however remains sharing best practices and information.

The next event is set to take place in the Autumn of 2018 in Brussels.
EARMA thematic groups are inclusive. If you wish to join the group or want more information, please send an e-mail to nik.claesen@earma.org. The report will be made available to all EARMA members and a sign up procedure will be put in place.