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Ethical guidelines

As a governmental organization, UiO is responsible for ensuring that teaching, research and dissemination are carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations governing our activities.

Employees and students should contribute to a safe and inclusive work and study environment for everyone at UiO.

UiO's academic activities are based on the principle of academic freedom. This should also be the basis for cooperation with external partners


Rules governing the operations

The following are particularly central to UiO’s operations: the University and University College Act, the Public Administration Act, the Working Environment Act, the Civil Servants Act, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act and Ethical guidelines for the Civil Service. Among others, UiO also has regulations that apply to procurement, supervision and research ethics.

For a complete overview of the regulations governing our operations, see the overview of UiO’s rules and guidelines. The following text describes some areas that are particularly important for a safe and good working and learning environment.

Individual responsibilities for the working and learning environment

Everyone at UiO is responsible for adhering to the laws and regulations that apply to  the university and for performing their work in an ethical manner.

Employees and students are expected to have a conscious relationship to how their behaviour can affect the working and learning environment. This also applies to personal behaviour on social media. (only in Norwegian).

Employees are responsible for preventing abuse and exploitation in relation to power imbalance, especially towards students.

Abuse of  intoxicating substances in a job context (Norwegian) is not accepted.

Bullying, racism, discrimination and harassment

No forms of bullying, racism, discrimination and harassment are accepted at UiO, including sexual harassment and unwanted sexual attention, see UiO’s guidelines regarding harassment.

Employees who become aware of any bullying, racism, discrimination or harassment at UiO are obliged, according to the Working Environment Act, to ensure that the employer or safety representative is advised of this, or to use UiO’s reporting system.

Students who become aware of or experience bullying, racism, discrimination or harassment are encouraged to speak to the learning environment contact at their faculty or use UiO’s Speak up System for students

Employees who experience bullying, racism, discrimination or harassment are encouraged to notify their employer by contacting their immediate manager.

Bullying, racism, discrimination or harassment can have consequences for the employee's working conditions or for students’ studies.  

Employees are not allowed to expose employees or students who have reported any incidents to retaliation.

Dual relations and impartiality

Dual relations means that the employee also holds other roles than a professional one in respect of a colleague or a student. Double relations can arise as a result of, among other things, kinship, a romantic relationship, friendship, unfriendliness, or financial interests.

Dual relationships can cause conflicts of interest and doubts about impartiality, or allegations of such. In such situations, the independence and integrity of the employee may be questioned.

Each employee is responsible for assessing and disclosing their own disqualification, as well as to step aside when the situation requires it. In the event of doubt as to their own impartiality, the employee should inform their immediate manager.

A manager at UiO should not have direct subordinates who are family members, with whom they have close kinship, a romantic relationship or sexual relations. In such situations, the manager’s decisions in respect of the individual may be questioned. If such relationships arise, managers are obliged to take this up with their superior.

An employee may not have dual relations with students or PhD candidates whose work they mark, whom they supervise or in respect of whom they make professional or administrative decisions. Employees are obliged to take up dual relations with their superior.

Particular care must be exercised in the appointment of an external examiner, evaluation committee and the appointment and promotion recommendations committee so that suitable candidates are ensured an independent assessment.

Researchers' responsibility for research ethics

UiO’s researchers have an independent responsibility for ensuring that research is carried out in accordance with good research practices and recognised scientific and ethical principles. Researchers are obliged to familiarize themselves with, and perform their research in accordance with the recognised research ethical standards applicable to the field. Employees who supervise research fellows or students are obliged to ensure that the work of the students and research fellows is carried out in accordance with the rules governing research ethics.

Specific questions may arise where an employee and a research fellow or student conduct research together and publish together. These are situations with power imbalance where the employee is obliged to demonstrate particular caution.

Standard for Research Integrity at UiO

On 19 October 2021, the University Board decided to establish a standard for research integrity to describe which sets of norms for research integrity are relevant to the university and its employees' activities. In overall terms, the standard expresses what constitutes behaving with integrity within research.

Academic cooperation

UiO assumes, based on the principle of academic freedom, that we will have good relations with and are open to professional cooperation with generally recognised academic communities across borders and political and cultural divides.

UiO is opposed to the use of an academic boycott as a political tool and works for scientific networks to be used in a positive way in disputes where diplomatic channels are broken down.

Human rights

UiO views it as its task to support researchers and students who, due to conflict or oppressive political conditions, are prevented from exercising their academic freedom.

UiO will highlight fundamental human rights and students' freedom when entering into and following up cooperation agreements with institutions in other countries. Assessment of cooperation agreements shall include a review of academic freedom at the institution in question.

Specific guidelines

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Published May 7, 2013 1:32 PM - Last modified Nov. 30, 2021 12:22 PM