LARI strengthened its presence and continued to promote sound research integrity practices in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg Agency for Research Integrity (LARI) has released its annual report – covering the interim period from November 2020 to December 2022. The new edition of its annual report provides assurance that the processes LARI has in place for dealing with allegations of research misconduct are transparent, robust, and fair, and that they continue to be appropriate to the needs of research in Luxembourg.

Consolidating LARI presence in Luxembourg…

LARI is committed to ensuring and maintaining a research environment that develops good research practice and embeds a culture of research integrity. Part of the actions undertaken during the interim period focused on strengthening the presence of LARI within the Luxembourg research ecosystem. It involved the financial consolidation of the A.S.B.L. and the development of a strategy. Thus, the new roadmap included the establishment of monthly meetings with the Commission for Research Integrity (CRI) – an independent body composed of five unbiased international experts who apply a neutral and impartial approach to any case it examines.

Torkild Vinther, former Chair of the CRI, says:

Being involved in an investigation – whether as an alleged person or as a complainant is most often very stressful. For this reason, alone, it is imperative for the CRI to conduct and conclude any investigation in a fair and thorough manner. There are no “happy” cases. Still, it is possible and feasable to utilise lessons learned from each case to try to prevent similar cases to occur and to improve the Research Integrity system and training at the responsible institution and enhance responsible conduct of research in Luxembourg as a whole.”

In late 2022, Torkild Vinther informed the Board that he has decided to retire and step down as Chair. As a result, the Board appointed Mylène Deschenes, currently serving as Interim Vice-Chair, to succeed Torkild Vinther as Chair of CRI.

Overall, during the interim period, LARI opened seven cases, of which six are closed and one is continued. Indeed, the size of Luxembourg makes it possible to respond quickly to misconduct cases. Additionally, the three Luxembourg research institutes and the University of Luxembourg have introduced a number of solid initiatives and actions to prevent misconduct.

In October 2022, the five member institutions, i.e. the University  of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, the Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research and the Luxembourg National Research Fund, elected a new Board of Directors composed of three highly qualified individuals appointed intuitu personae for a three-year term of office. Jean-Claude Wiwinius serves as Chair of the Board; Prof. Dr. Babette Simon acts as Vice Chair of the Board; and Prof John Scheid is a Member of the Board.

Finally, LARI increased its internal operations by hiring an administrative support manager.

… and internationally

The Agency took part in numerous events in Europe and around the world to promote and share good research integrity practices. Case in point: in May 2021, LARI attended the VIRT²UE Train the Trainer programme which aims to promote reflection on personal attitudes and behaviours. More specifically, some of LARI coaches learnt more about how to foster reflection on the virtues needed to make a good researcher. Additionally, they were given the tools to promote understanding of the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.

In October 2021, the Secretary General ad interim gave a presentation on how LARI promotes responsible conduct of research at the European RI platform for the global research community.

Finally, LARI was selected to have a poster session at the 7th World Conference on Research Integrity held in Cape Town from 29 May to 1 June 2022.

By participating in various events, and by submitting an abstract, which was selected for the World Conference on Research Integrity‘s poster session, LARI contributed to Luxembourg’s success in advocating for research integrity on the international scene.

Asael Rouby, Interim Secretary General, states:

“I am deeply convinced of the importance of promoting sound research practices. In this respect, Luxembourg can play an important role by participating in international efforts.

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