Integrity and ethics in research

As a place of research, teaching and the promotion of early career researchers, Kiel University is committed to upholding professional scientific standards and to ensuring that ethical research guidelines are established and adhered to.

All scientific work is based on the principles of good scientific practice. At the CAU, scientists receive support and advice on this key topic, not only to avoid personal misconduct, but also to recognise and adequately address misconduct when supervising students and doctoral researchers.

Good scientific practice

CAU guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practice

Kiel University, together with the organisations for promoting early career researchers, wants to promote and ensure basic principles of honesty and fairness in science. The University Senate therefore adopted updated guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practice at its meeting on 01 June 2022. These guidelines implement the code "Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice" of the German Research Foundation (DFG) as a revision of the memorandum "Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice". Appropriate ways of dealing with suspected scientific misconduct are implemented.

Responsible approach to freedom of research and research risks

With the adoption of regulations dealing with freedom of research and research risks in 2013, Kiel University follows the guidelines and rules of the Max Planck Society. As such, the university is committed to the principles of ethically acceptable research, extending the boundaries of knowledge and serving the public interest, as well as protection of the environment.

CAU statute on dealing with research risks (in German only) (pdf)

Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)

HR Excellence in Research

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) is an initiative of the European Commission. It implements principles and conditions of good research set out in the "European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers" (Charter & Code).

The development of productive, dynamic research cultures at universities in Europe is to be promoted through good and fair working conditions for researchers. In this way, researchers at all career levels benefit from finding the best possible conditions for conducting excellent research.

Kiel University stands behind the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code for the Selection and Recruitment of Researchers and is committed to implementing them. In order to live the principles of the Charter even more strongly than before in everyday university life, CAU has developed its own Human Resources Strategy for Researchers and closely linked it to its personnel development concept.

In February 2017, Kiel University was awarded the Human Excellence in Research seal for its Human Resources Strategy. With this logo, the EU Commission honors universities that are committed to continuously improving the working conditions of researchers.

In the course of 2022, the standards in the recruitment and further development of researchers at CAU will be evaluated by external experts. After a positive audit process, the CAU aims to be allowed to carry the seal for another three years.

More information about HRS4R on the Personnel Development division’s web presence

Risks in research

CAU Ethics Committee (excluding medicine)

The CAU Ethics Committee provides support for researchers at the university on issues of research ethics, mediates in differences of opinion between researchers on relevant matters, and issues recommendations on implementing research projects. The members of the committee are:

Ethics Committee at Kiel University's Faculty of Medicine

The Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Medicine assists faculty members with advice and assessment of ethical and legal aspects of medical research on human beings, without prejudice to the responsibility of the medical doctor for the research project and its implementation.

Guarding against risks in research

The approach towards certain high-risk aspects of research is subject to statutory provisions. Further information provided by the CAU on these topics can be found on the following websites/in the following documents:

Scientific misconduct

Dealing with suspected cases of scientific misconduct

Kiel University pursues every specific suspected case of scientific misconduct. Scientific misconduct occurs in particular when incorrect information is provided intentionally or negligently in a scientific context or intellectual property belonging to other people is infringed or their research work is sabotaged.


Members and associates of the university may consult the ombudsteam on issues concerning good scientific practice and suspected scientific misconduct. The following have been appointed as ombudspersons:

Committee for the Investigation of Scientific Misconduct

The Standing Committee is responsible for investigating allegations of scientific misconduct, which it is notified of by a member of the ombudsteam or of which it is informed directly. It carries out the preliminary investigative procedures and the formal investigative procedures. The members of the Standing Committee are:

Research data management

Research data management

Kiel University has bundled its activities in the area of research data management into a central service office since 2013. This office contains experts from research, management and infrastructure. The CAU was one of the first universities to adopt recommendations for handling research data.

Publishing using open access

The University Library coordinates the area of publishing using open access at the CAU, and offers related services and consulting, so that the objective formulated in the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" of 22.10.2003 to "constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access" can be realised.

Data protection at the CAU and in the state of SH

Continuing education and seminars

Programme for new appointees

On behalf of and in cooperation with the University Board, the Continuing Professional Development Centre has developed a programme for newly-appointed professors, which begins with the Sailing Leadership Workshop. Since 2017, a seminar on research ethics has been an integral part of the training programme for new appointees.

Information & advice

DFG Liaison Officer

Lorenz Kienle

Graduate Center, confidential contacts

CAU Ethics Committee (excluding medicine)

Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Medicine

Christine Glinicke (Geschäftsführung)

Research data management

Thilo Paul-Stüve

Data Protection Officer

Stella Thoben

Open Access

Animal Welfare Officer

Gerhard Schultheiß

Occupational safety

Frank Flatow

Radiation protection

Christoph Gelhaus

Nagoya Protocol Compliance Officer

Scarlett Sett

Continuing education and seminars

Katharina Abermeth