Principles of Ethical and
The ethical and regulatory challenges in science and
research policy have been gaining momentum alongside the quickening pace of
discovery and increasing social concerns about the use and abuse of science.
Reflecting these concerns, a proliferation of European and
international regulatory and advisory bodies and associated guides and
protocols now address ethical issues. Significant among these is the European Charter for
Researchers, which sets out the basic principles of ethical and
professional conduct. These include principles of research freedom,
integrity, accountability, social responsibility, public engagement, and the
dissemination and exploitation of results, as well as compliance with discipline-specific protocols
and principles of intellectual property and joint data
ownership. The University of Crete endorsed the Charter and associated Code
for researchers in 2009 and is also taking practical steps to ensure that
these ethical and professional principles are observed.
In 2012 the University of Crete established a Research Ethics Committee
(REC). UoC was something of a pioneer at that time in having an institutional REC. This was made a
standard requirement for all Greek public HEIs in 2018 [Law 4521/2018 ss21-27] and the UoC REC was
re-constituted accordingly. The remit of the REC includes the development of university policy, the
codification of regulatory requirements, and overseeing procedures for the consideration and
approval of research projects involving human participants or personal data.
Code of Ethics & Good Conduct
In 2020 a standing University Ethics Committee was established (Senate
445ης/19-11-2020) and replaced previous arrangements whereby the Ethics Committee was convened on
request. The Committee, composed of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Deans,
drafted the new University Code of Ethics and Good Conduct [pdf, in Greek] which was endorsed by the
University Senate (464η /15-07-2021). The remit of the Ethics Committee is to oversee compliance
with the principles of the code by all members of the UoC community, together with the investigation
of breaches ex-officio or in response to written complaints.
Commission for Bioethics and Technoethics was established
on April 2021 and takes over the work of its predecessor, the National Bioethics Commission. Its
remit covers the ethical, social and legal dimensions of developments in the bio-medical sciences,
advances in bio-technology and genetics, and a broad range of ethical issues revolving around new
technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and robotics.
University of Crete is one of the few HEIs in Europe to have developed an inter-disciplinary Master
programme in Bioethics. Reflecting this expertize,
the thirteen (13)-member National Commission
currently includes two UoC faculty members among the scientists of high repute from sections
related to its terms of reference and competence.