Ethical, Legal and Social implications in Research Infrastructures and Core Facilities

Date: 13.06.2023–20.06.2023- 22.06.2023  

Learning model: video materials, pre-reading online materials, introductory lectors, use-case based hands-on activities, breakout room sessions and experience sharing 

This short course takes an extensive overview of the various ethical, legal and social issues of science, that are affected by the international environment, open accessibility, and relationship with national or international institutions, companies and citizens. 

The programme covers the following topics in four Sessions:

  1. Research Integrity: definitions, field of application, European instruments
  2. Equity, diversity and inclusion: definitions, principle of non-discrimination, instruments for diversity management, opportunities stemming from a diverse environment, how to build an inclusive research infrastructure
  3. Open data and science: introduction to open science, FAIR principles and their application, GDPR framework introduction, rights of interested parties, different roles in GDPR process
  4. Public engagement and citizen science: definition of public engagement and citizen science, approaches and practices, impact, examples in different domains

Target Audience

The short course is aimed at managers, operators and other professionals in Research Infrastructures or Core Facilities.

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Session 1 Research Integrity

After completing this Session, the participant will be able to 

  • Understand the definition of Research Integrity (RI)
  • Apply research integrity in relationship with colleagues, in mentoring, recruitment, in the lab and in the publication process. 
  • Use the European instruments for research integrity 
Session 2. Equity, diversity and inclusion

After completing this Session, the participant will be able to 

  • Describe the principle of non-discrimination
  • Understand the intersecting grounds of discrimination in regard to gender, disability, ethnic or geographic origin, culture, religion
  • Compare the instruments for diversity management
  • Identify and utilize the opportunities stemming from diversity
  • Implement an inclusive environment in a research infrastructure 
  • Do inclusive research 
Session 3. Open data and science & GDPR framework

After completing this Session, the participant will be able to 

  • Understand the principles of open data and science, including the FAIR principles
  • Know how to implement the principles in their work
  • Set requirements for RI staff for operating in the space of open data and science
  • Explain the foundations of GDPR
  • Understand the rights of interested parties in terms of access, cancellation-oblivion, limitation of processing, opposition, portability
  • Understand the roles of the people involved in data management (data owner, manager, person in charge of processing) and their respective accountability
Session 4. Public engagement and citizen science 

After completing this Sessionchapter, the participant will be able to 

  • Know what stakeholders are included in public engagement
  • Compare current approaches and practices in public engagement actions
  • Analyse the impacts of public engagement
  • Discuss examples in different domains
  • Describe the history and definition of citizen science
  • Compare types of citizen science activities within different domains
  • Discuss examples of citizen science projects
  • Discuss how RIs can enable (or inadvertently hinder) citizen science through their operating principles and design
The programme

The programme

The following programme is envisaged.

15 hours splitted in 3 half-days.

SESSION 1: Research Integrity
1.30 h 13 June 20239:00 – 10:30 Lucia Busatta (UniTrento)Synchronous video lectureResearch Integrity
1.30 h13 June 202310:30-12:00Werner Kutch, ICOS-ERIC Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez, University of Gothenburg Case studies analysisDiscussion
SESSION 2: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
1 h 13 June 202313:30-14:30Lucia Busatta (UniTrento)Synchronous video lectureEquity, Diversity, Inclusion
1 h13 June 202314:30-15:30Hannah Hurst (ELIXIR)Case studies analysisDiscussion
SESSION 3: Open science and data and the GDPR general framework
1.5 h 20 June 20239:00-10:30Fotis Psomopoulos (ELIXIR, tbc)Synchronous video lectureOpen science and data
2 h 20 June 202310:30-12:30Tbd (CTLS, Elixir)Case studies analysisDiscussion
1.5 h 20 June 202314:00-15:30Monica Palmirani (UniBO)Synchronous video lectureGDPR general framework
SESSION 4: Public engagement and Citizen Science
1 h 22 June 20239:00-10:00Marko Peura (Uni Helsinki)Synchronous video lecturePublic Engagement
1 h 22 June 202311:00-12:00Marko Peura (Uni Helsinki)Synchronous video lectureCitizen Science
1.5 h 22 June 202312:00-13:30Marialuisa Lavitrano(UniMib)
Case studies analysisDiscussion
1.5 h22 June 202314:30-16:00Lucia Busatta, Marko Peura, AllFinal recap of the module
The Faculty

The Faculty

Lucia BusattaUniTrentoLucia Busatta, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Constitutional law at the Department of Cellular, Computational and Integrative Biology of the University of Trento. Lucia’s main field of research is focused on research integrity and constitutional problems of scientific research. She also collaborates in the research activities of the BioLaw Research Team at the Faculty of Law of the University of Trento. Lucia has been teaching bioethics and biolaw, public and constitutional law, both for law students and in other disciplines (biotechnologies, economics, psychology and healthcare professionals). She is also involved in several life-long formative courses for healthcare professionals, lawyers and judges. 
Marko PeuraUniversity of HelsinkiMarko Peura works as a Senior Adviser at University of Helsinki, with main responsibility in University-level development processes of research infrastructures. He holds a PhD in Physics. Peura is the principal adviser in all matters related to University-level commitment to large-scale RIs. At Uni.Helsinki, he is strongly involved in compiling the University’s RI policy. His research background is in soft condensed matter physics and utilisation of x-rays and synchrotron radiation to study the structure and dynamical properties of biopolymers.
Fotis PsomopoulosELIXIRDr Fotis Psomopoulos is an Associate Research Professor at the Institute of Applied Biosciences (INAB), at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), in Thessaloniki Greece. Beyond his research interests that focus on Bioinformatics and Machine Learning as the lead of the Bioinformatics Laboratory, he is also particularly active in training. He is the Training Coordinator of ELIXIR-GR, a member of the ELIXIR Training Platform Executive Committee, and a member of the EOSC Association Task Force on Research careers, recognition and credit. He is also a strong advocate of Open Science; he is a mentor in the Open Life Science community, he is a co-author of the Open Science Training Handbook as well as the Greek National Plan for Open Science, and is a founding member of the Hellenic Open Science Initiative.
Marialuisa LavitranoMarialuisa Lavitrano is full professor of Pathology, director of Molecular Medicine Unit and of the Executive Masters’ in Management of Research Infrastructures at Milano-Bicocca University where she was Pro-Rector for International Affairs [2006-2013]. Over the years, she contributed to the international strategies of the Ministries of Research and of Health and coordinated the Italian participation in the BioMedical Sciences ESFRI roadmap. In 2013 she was appointed BBMRI.it Node-Director. Prof. Lavitrano has a long-term experience in research, management and in bioethical aspects of science, being co-Director of BBMRI-ERIC Common Service ELSI and participating at Bioethical Commissions of the Council of Europe, of the Vatican, and of the Italian government.
Jessica LindvallJessica Lindvall is an associate professor with the main responsibility as head of training in ELIXIR-SE (National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden, NBIS), which provides training in advanced bioinformatics, data science and research data management. Jessica is also deputy head of node for ELIXIR-SE and one of the ExCo committee members of the Training Platform in ELIXIR. 
Stephan NylinderStephan Nylinder is part of the ELIXIR-SE Data Management team and is one of the training coordinators for ELIXIR-SE. His focus is on data publications and facilitating knowledge exchange between data producers and researchers for data and metadata. Stephan holds a PhD in Biology with emphasis on Systematics and Biodiversity from Gothenburg University, Sweden, and has been working with data management at several levels in both life and social sciences.
Elin KronanderElin Kronander is a data steward in the ELIXIR-SE Data Management team and acts as one of the training coordinators for ELIXIR-SE. She is involved in creating guidelines and best practices for Life Science Research Data Management in Sweden, with human data as one focus area. Elin holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne and has work experience as a data scientist developing solutions for individually guided personalized learning paths.
Korbinian BöslKorbinian Bösl is a senior engineer at the Computational Biology Unit (CBU) at the University of Bergen. He is the Data Management Coordinator of ELIXIR-NO and part of the operational management team of the Centre for Digital Life Norway. He is coordinating data management efforts between the Life Science Research Infrastructures in Norway. Korbinian has a research background on systems host-pathogen interactions and holds a PhD in Molecular Medicine from the Norwegian University of Science and  Technology. He has developed and implemented a research data management training program for life scientists across Norway.
Monica Palmirani UniBOMonica Palmirani is Full Professor of Computer Science and Law at the University of Bologna, Faculty of Law, she graduated in mathematics and earned her PhD in Legal Informatics and Computer Science Law in 1996 at CIRSFID. Lecturer of several courses since 2001 in Legal Informatics, eGovernment, Techniques of legal drafting, XML legal, is the author of more than 70 contributions, several essays and monographs. She has been chair or co-chair of several leading international conferences, and has held numerous international seminars on Legal XML and Open Data topics. Her main field of research is Legislative and Legal Informatics, eGovernment and eJustice, in particular, she is an expert in XML and Semantic Web techniques for modelling legal documents, both as regards the structure of documents and as regards the modelling of semantics and standards.
Werner Leo KutschICOS-ERICWerner Leo Kutsch has a strong scientific background in ecosystem science. Since March 2014 he is Director General of ICOS RI and has successfully steered the procedure towards becoming an ERIC. In this work, he focused on legal work on contracting the distributed central facilities, on optimizing the internal data workflow between the different observational programs of ICOS, on developing the data platform of ICOS (‘Carbon Portal’) which will also serve as an interface to COPERNICUS and GEOSS, and on deepening the cooperation with other RIs. While ICOS has achieved full operation during its first five-year phase (2015 – 2019), he has successfully steered the transition to the second five-year period by updating the strategy for the next decade, renewing the financial commitments of the participating countries and compiling an action plan. 
Despoina SousoniELIXIRDespoina Sousoni is in charge of implementing and driving ELIXIR’s industry strategy, managing a range of industry engagement activities based on ELIXIR members’ needs and EU-funded projects. These activities include ELIXIR’s Industry and Innovation Forums, support on the Industry Advisory Committee and management of the ELIXIR’s Knowledge Exchange Scheme, a staff exchange programme for ELIXIR Nodes and industry. See ELIXIR’s Industry activities here.Despoina’s expertise includes public-private partnerships, building Industry strategies for research infrastructures, and evaluating the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the life sciences. In addition, Despoina has a background in environmental microbiology and work experience in the European Commission and UNESCO, focusing on open science practices.
Hannah Hurst(ELIXIR)Hannah Hurst is the Project Management Office Manager for the ELIXIR Hub where she has worked for five years. Hannah was instrumental in creating ELIXIR’s Equal Opportunities Strategy in 2018, followed by a three-year EDI plan. As part of these activities, Hannah developed and implemented a Code of Conduct for ELIXIR, for which she won a Wellcome Genome Campus Best Practice Award for Supporting Equality and Diversity in Science on International Women’s Day 2020. She has now formed an EDI Team within the Hub who together, work to continually make progress on EDI issues within the Hub.
Julia Fernandez-RodriguezUGOTJulia Fernandez-Rodriguez is the Head of the Centre for Cellular Imaging University of Gothenburg, and Node of the Swedish National Microscopy Infrastructure and a National Unit of the SciLifeLab Infrastructure; Vice-chair of the Panels of Node Board for the Euro-BioImaging-ERIC consortium and President of the Core Technologies for Life Sciences Association (CTLS). Graduated (1989) in Biology from the University Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and received her PhD (1996) in Biochemistry from the University of Vigo (Spain). Her long-established research career in cell & molecular biology, together with her technical expertise in light and electron microscopy, and 20 years of core facility training experience have provided her with an excellent background in multiple life sciences disciplines, and in the development, implementation, management and operation of a multimodal imaging research infrastructure and its training activities at the national and international level. As a university core facility, she is also strongly involved in the education and training of students and researchers through a series of courses, seminars and workshops, often in collaboration with other universities in Sweden and abroad and with industrial partners. 
How to apply

How to Apply

Application period starts 3 April 2023 and ends 5 May 2023. Selected participants are informed via email by 15 May 2023. If the participant wishes to cancel their participation, they are required to inform the organisers at least 2 weeks prior to the course. 

Apply by filling in the form and upload your CV (max 3 pages)


The pilot short course is offered free-of-charge and requires the participant’s full commitment during lectures, group work and written assignments.


Info & Contact

To pass the course the participant must attend at least 80% of the lectures.

For any doubt or information, please see the FAQs below or send an email to ritrainplus[at]unimib.it


Why should I take this programme?

The programme is aimed at managers, operators and other professionals at Research Infrastructures and Core Facilities.

Who is behind this programme?

The pilot programme is designed by academic and educational experts in the RItrainPlus project who have a long experience working or leading Research Infrastructures or other scientific institutions.

How is the programme organized?

The programme  is divided into seven short courses, each containing sessions.  The short courses take up 16–32 hours each, plus individual work.

How do I take part?

The participants can take up either the whole programme and progress from one short course to the next, or take an individual short course that best fits their needs. For those interested in taking up the whole programme, it should be noted that some activities will be overlapping. Participants are advised to check the course schedules for more information.

What’s expected of me?

The participant is expected to participate in at least 80% of the scheduled activities. The courses are assessed in various ways. 

Do I have to take all the sessions in a short course? Can I just choose what I like?

The participant needs to participate in all the modules in the short course. 

What does it cost?

The pilot courses are offered free of charge

How are the courses taught?

Most of the short courses are offered as online intensive courses that take up 2-6 consecutive days. The courses are taught by experienced academics at RItrainPlus partner universities and institutions with  invited international experts.The courses will be delivered in the period June-September 2023.

How do I apply?

The application period is 03.04.2023 – 05.05.2023. Apply to the short course by submitting a short motivation letter and your CV. The chosen applicants will be informed via email by 15. 05. 2023.

When will I know if my application has been accepted?

Selected participants are informed by May 15th.

What if I realize that I cannot participate anymore after I’ve been admitted to participation?

If the participant wishes to cancel their participation, they are required to inform the organizers at least two weeks prior to the starting of the course

Ethical, Legal and Social Implications in RIs and CFs