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Great interest in a course in research ethics

Published: 26 April 2021

The ethics course for postgraduate students at Luleå University of Technology has been popular. Most recently, 80 people applied to 40 places. The course is university-wide, which means that regardless of subject, everyone can apply for it.
– It has been exciting and interesting. Lots to think about, says Anmar Kamalaldin, who is a PhD-student in innovation and entrepreneurship at Luleå University of Technology.

The course, which is on 4, 5 higher education credits, is now running for the second time. Because there were so many who applied for this time, the first 40 were taken in. A new round of the course will start in the autumn and there will be a new opportunity to apply for the course.
According to examiner Åsa Engström, professor of nursing at Luleå University of Technology, research ethics has become increasingly important in research and postgraduate education regardless of subject. Doctoral students are constantly faced with ethical dilemmas and considerations that they need knowledge and tools to be able to handle and take a stand on.
The course is given entirely online.

A broad ethics course

Sofia Hellqvist, PhD-student in industrial economics, accounting and control, is examining performance measurement part of financial management with a focus on healthcare.
– Some achievements and competencies are difficult to measure and verbalize, but they are nevertheless central in some activities.
The ethics course is broad and is aimed at all doctoral students, regardless of subject.
– You get the basic tools for research work. It is good to meet people with other perspectives. It is good that there will be a concentrated opportunity to discuss these issues. The literature is good and you get help to put the ethical asessments into words and to be critical on sources, says Sofia Hellqvist.

Fom different subjects

Anmar Kamalaldin, is doing his doctorate on on digital servitization, how companies sell and procure digital services instead of products.
– It is important for all researchers to be reminded of research ethics, it is something we should do continuously. Something may seem obvious, but we work with complicated issues that require careful consideration.
He thinks that the course provides an opportunity to reflect on ethical issues and he appreciates that the participants come from different subject areas.
– There are special ethical issues for those who do research in the health field, while the ethical issues for engineers may look different.
We have learned to use The guided dialogue tool, a model to use when making ethical considerations, throughout the phases of a study.

He tells of a case that was raised in the course that he was surprised by. It was about Paolo Macchiarini and his research at Karolinska Institutet on synthetic throats.
– That it happened so recently, with all control systems, committees and ethical assessments. That we can still see that type of scandal shows that courses like this are needed, he says.