Purpose and requirements for doctoral courses in research ethics

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All KI doctoral students admitted to doctoral education according to the general syllabus valid from 2009-07-01 or later, shall undergo a course in basic research ethics (1,5 higher education credits).

In addition, doctoral students may need further research ethics education depending on the research focus, e. g. global health research, stem cell research, register research, research involving children as well as research involving animal experiments. This knowledge can be obtained through specific courses, through a specific course element or integrated in a course, through seminars, by immersing oneself in the literature as well as by discussing with other researchers.

Also knowledge in areas adjacent to research ethics, such as scientific theory/philosophy of science and legislation/regulations regarding research involving people and animals, may need to be obtained.

The purpose of a basic course in research ethics for doctoral students is that the doctoral student:

  • shall gain an understanding of fundamental theories, principles and guidelines of research ethics, and thus get the opportunity to reflect on ethical aspects of their own research,
  • shall get an understanding of what is good science as well as the limits for ethically unacceptable research both concerning research on humans and animals, as well as what applies to the researcher's own honesty,
  • shall develop a research ethical approach within its own research, towards the research of others and the surrounding society.

Intended learning outcomes for the courses:

A basic course in the ethics of medical research must, as a minimum, contain the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

After completing the course, a doctoral student shall be able to:

  • account for theories, principles and – to a certain extent – guidelines of research ethics
  • account for common problems that arise in the area of research ethics

Competence and skills

After completing the course, a doctoral student shall be able to:

  • identify, analyse and discuss problems and conflicts that arise in the area of research ethics
  • be able to carry out a research ethical argumentation for or against a particular procedure

Contents of the courses

A basic course in the ethics of medical research must, as a minimum, contain the following elements:

  • Central principles, theories and arguments of research ethics
  • Research on humans, including informed consent and its components
  • The ethics of laboratory animal science, including arguments for and against the use of animals for research purposes, as well as the 3 R’s
  • Ethical reviews and research ethics guidelines, such as the Declaration of Helsinki
  • Good scientific practice and deviations from good practice in the research, such as issues relating to fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, as well as the handling of scientific authorship
  • Conflicts of interest in connection to research, such as bias and sponsorship


Administrative officer

Anna Gustafsson

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 860 18
E-mail: anna.gustafsson@ki.se

Chair of the Course and programme committee

Erika Franzén

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 888 78
E-mail: Erika.Franzen@ki.se

Vice chair of the Course and programme committee

Lena Von Koch

Phone: +46-(0)70-786 93 86
E-mail: Lena.Von.Koch@ki.se

Coordinator of doctoral education

Ingeborg van der Ploeg

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 867 00
E-mail: ingeborg.van.der.ploeg@ki.se


CourseDoctoral education