Ethical Issues

The European concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) means more than dealing with the ethical issues arising within research itself ­ it involves considering the wider dimensions of science and innovation already in basic research and technological development. To follow the RRI strategy LarSyS researchers carry out research with the highest international and ethical standards, promote team spirit and collaborative work, respect all patient and individuals confidentiality and rights, promote the translation of research findings to the public, recognize the Institute’s social responsibility through its outreach activities, promote a culture of mutual respect and equal opportunity within the Institute and, achieve high standards of corporate governance.

In LARSYS the gender dimension is integrated and followed through at all stages of the research cycle, following the guidelines set by the ERA on Gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research. Particular attention is paid to ensuring gender balance subject to the situation in our field of research. As demonstrated in Women in Science­She Figures 2013 from the European Commission, women are more numerous at undergraduate levels but under­represented at PhD and higher levels, especially in engineering. As such, LARSyS will actively aim at achieving gender parity and equality during the recruitment process. This will include the goal of ensuring that at least 40% of the under­represented gender participate in committees involved in recruitment and in establishing and evaluating research programmes. The objective is also to ensure that at least 40% of the under­represented are recruited in the employment of post­doctoral researchers.

In LARSYS whenever human-related information and/or material are studied, only samples that had permission from the Medical Ethical Review Board will be used. Patient’s information or materials will never be used for commercial purposes. Access to these samples is only allowed for those individuals that have the proper authorization. Patient information and materials will not be sent to other partners.

Databases will be preferentially stored on the local medical institutions and only authorized personnel have access. Should we intend to concentrate data in one big database located at one of the institutes of the LARSys it will be anonymized/non-traceable according to “National laws for medical­ scientific research on human subjects” and “The declaration of Helsinki” concerning the legal rights of human subjects.

As our research may include working with human personal data and materials and as we aim to produce biotechnological inventions that may impact lifestyle and medical care we will conform to EU legislation “The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU”, Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, Directive 98/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 1998 on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. Examples of those biotechnological inventions are:

  • robotics for improving lifestyle and medical care, computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) tools;
  • processes for cellular and medical research applied in cardiovascular, neuroscience and cancer.

LARSyS endorses the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, adopted in the framework of the H2020 Program.