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 new guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practice at its meeting on 10 May 2017. The current guidelines are based on the recommendations of the Committee on "Professional Self Regulation in Science" of the German Research Foundation (DFG), and implement appropriate procedures to deal with suspicions of scientific misconduct.

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 (pdf)

Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)

HR Excellence in Research

The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers is an initiative of the European Commission. HRS4R promotes the principles laid down in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. Its goal is to create vibrant research cultures at universities, establish excellent working conditions for researchers, and further academic careers.

Kiel University fully endorses the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment, and has devised its own Human Resources Strategy for their implementation. In February 2017 Kiel University has been granted the HR Excellence in Research Award. The logo is awarded to institutions dedicated to fair and transparent recruitment processes, responsible research and innovation, and excellent training of early career researchers.

The implementation of HRS4R at Kiel University follows an action plan devised to continually improve the conditions for researchers at the university.

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

Daniela Geißler

Open Access

Rainer Horrelt

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