Responsible Research

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Breakout Sessions

Day 1 - March 25, 2021

10:05 - 10:35 Breakout Session 1: The revised DFG Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice – established principles and new developments
Prof. Dr. Ansgar Ohly, Faculty of Law, LMU Munich

The DFG Code of Conduct sets out standards and procedures safeguarding good research practice. Only universities and research institutions which have implemented the Code are eligible for DFG funding. The Code was revised in 2019. The revised guidelines must be implemented until July 2022.
This presentation will inform about the basic principles of good academic practice and about the most important changes brought about by the 2019 revision. It will also give an overview of the role and responsibilities of the different stakeholders.

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Ohly holds the Chair of Private Law, Intellectual Property and Competition Law at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. At LMU, he is the chairman of the Commission for the Safeguarding of Good Academic Practice. In 2018/19 he was a member of the committee tasked with revising the DFG Code.
Ansgar Ohly studied law at the universities of Bonn and Cambridge (LL M). His main fields of academic interest are all areas of intellectual property law and the law of unfair competition law, with a special emphasis on European developments and on the comparison of civil law and common law systems. He is a co-editor of GRUR, the leading German intellectual property journal.

11:00 - 11:35 Breakout Session 2: Basic Research and Statistics – How to fit the unfittable.
Dr. Tobias Straub, BMC Bioinformatics Core Facility, LMU Munich

Statistical testing has become central to interpretation of scientific data. Accordingly, experimental results are categorised into “significant” and “non-significant”. Widely unknown are, however, fundamental assumptions that have to be met for reliable statistics. It is therefore not surprising that irreproducibility is high for published statistically significant results. I will discuss the most important assumptions and their role in our everyday-experiments.

Tobias Straub studied medicine at the University of Würzburg in Germany. As a postdoctoral researcher he started at the Adolf-Butenandt-Institute of Molecular Biology at LMU Munich, where he is still holding the position of an academic director. Since 2012 he is head of the Bioinformatics core facility at the Biomedical Center of LMU. His main mission is to increase reproducibility of basic research by advising researchers in experimental design and choice of appropriate statistical procedures for any kind of projects and questions.

11:35 - 12:05 Breakout Session 3: Mental Health and Well Being – Link to Responsible Conduct in Research
Dr. Nicola Byrom, Department of Psychology, King’s College London, Great Britain

In the UK, student mental health is increasingly a concern among university leadership and policy makers. Across my work I have been arguing for a whole university approach, which acknowledges that student mental health problems don’t simply sit with the individual; they arise because of a constellation of social, institutional and environmental factors. From this perspective, we need to look at how institutional environments and cultures impact on student mental health. However, this does not leave the individual without agency. As individuals we can all take steps to look after our own mental health and collectively our actions towards ourselves and our colleagues shape the culture within which we work. In this presentation I will briefly consider some of the challenges common to PhD students and explore ideas for addressing these.

Dr Nicola Byrom is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences at King’s College London. She directs SMaRteN, the UKRI funded Student Mental Health Research Network. Prior to her career at King’s she established the UK’s student mental health charity, Student Minds.

Day 2 - March 26, 2021

9:55 - 10:30 Breakout Session 4: Am I in Conflict of Interest? Tops and Tips
Prof. Dr. Maria Elena Torres Padilla, Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells (IES), Helmholtz Zentrum Munich

How can you recognize conflict of interest? Do we, as researchers, have conflicts of interest? How can we make our research more accountable?

Maria Elena studied Biology at the National University of Mexico, and obtained her PhD at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. She was a postdoctoral fellow at The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK before starting her own lab at the IGBMC in Strasbourg, France. Currently she is Director of the Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells, Helmholtz Zentrum München, and Professor of the Chair of Stem Cell Biology, Faculty of Biology, LMU Munich. She is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and a recipient of a number of awards for research in the field of epigenetics and cellular plasticity. She is a also a member of the steering committee to the World Economic Forum Young Scientists community, and contributed to to the 2018 issuance of the WEF Code of Ethics for Researchers.

10:30 - 11:00 Breakout Session 5: Preprint Reviews to Revolutionize Scientific Publishing
EJ van Lanen, Helmholtz Publicaton, Helmholtz Pioneer Campus Munich

The costs of publication are constantly increasing, and it's also increasingly difficult and time-consuming to get your article published in a high-quality journal. After waiting weeks or months for peer review you may be rejected--only to start the whole process all over again at another journal--or you may face months of revisions before your paper is accepted. Why do journals work this way? In 2021, shouldn't there be a better way? Join EJ van Lanen to discuss these issues, and to explore a solution to the journal conundrum that's being developed out at the Helmholtz Pioneer Campus.

EJ received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Following further study at Ohio University and New School University, EJ became an Assistant Editor at HarperCollins Publishing, New York. He founded two publishers that focused on literature in translation, Open Letter Books and Frisch & Co. Electronic Books, before joining Elsevier GmbH as a Publisher in Berlin, Germany in 2014. Managing the development and operations of more than 40 journals—in fields as diverse as Food Science, Oceanography, and Soil Science—EJ also spearheaded the foundation of Scientific African, the first Open Access megajournal for scientists in Africa. At HPC, EJ is responsible for developing innovative, international publishing initiatives across the Helmholtz Association and in partnership with other international institutions and non-profit organisations.

11:45 - 12:20 Breakout Session 6: Practical tips to make your research more open and reproducible
Prof. Dr. Felix Schönbrodt, Open Science Center LMU

Reproducibility and transparency are core pillars of good scientific practice. As more and more disciplines, funders, and journals are moving decisively into the direction of open science, researchers are confronted with a practical challenge: How can we implement openness in our daily routine, without adding too much burden? In this breakout sesssion I will (1) show first steps towards openness that can be easily implemented, (2) point towards resources and tools that help to ensure reproducibility of research, and (3) give hints how a cultural change towards more openness in research could be achieved.

Felix Schönbrodt is professor at the psychological department of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany. His research interests include implicit and explicit motives, dynamics in couple relationships, quantitative methods, and all issues revolving open science and the replicability of research. One special focus is to provide statistical packages in R and interactive statistical web apps which can be used for teaching and for an enhanced understanding and usage of quantitative methods ( Felix Schönbrodt is an initiator of the "Commitment to Research Transparency" (, founding member of the "German Reproducibility Network" ( and managing director of the LMU Open Science Center.