New course in Ethics of Science and Research for Ph.D. students

Postgraduate course in the Ethics of Science and Research – new course available this autumn.

The University of Iceland Graduate School, in collaboration with the Centre for Ethics, has developed two courses aimed at postgraduate students. The first is a crash course (3 ECTS) specifically designed for doctoral students, taught from Wednesday to Friday, August 23 - 25 (9.10 to 15.40). There is also a more conventional course available in the spring semester (6 ECTS), covering the major issues in science and research ethics in more depth. The maximum number of students on the three-credit course is 20.

Both courses are taught by Dr Henry Alexander Henrysson, a member of the National Bioethics Committee, the University of Iceland Science Ethics Committee and the University of Iceland Ethics Committee. The courses will be taught in English.

The National Qualification Framework from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture states that graduated doctors should be able to “demonstrate their awareness of science ethics and that they have formed a considered opinion regarding their own research and that of others, based on their own ethical consciousness”.

Universities all over the world are placing ever growing emphasis on training for postgraduate students in the ethics of science and research. There are several reasons for this development: 

•   technological innovations have led to exciting but complex ethical challenges 

•   trust among the general public is dwindling

•   the regulation framework for research has undergone significant changes

Misconduct in research is common and it is clear that the relevant research institutes in each case bear a great deal of responsibility if postgraduate students are involved. It is important to ensure that postgraduate students know about the potential applications of ethics in settling ethical debates, such as may arise in their relations with publishers and ethics committees. 

The courses are intended for students from all fields of sciences.

“The ability to explain ethical debates has become a very important factor in composing grant applications and publishing scientific articles.”

Sigurður Yngvi Kristinsson, Professor of Hematology at the Faculty of Medicine and principal investigator for iStopMM, the Icelandic blood screening initiative against multiple myeloma.



“When researching the complex realities of modern societies, including the positions of vulnerable groups, it is vital to consider the ethical debates that could arise.”

Unnur Dís Skaptadóttir, Professor of Anthropology and chair of the Science Committee at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences.




Registration for the crash course is now open. If you are interested, you can register by sending an email to with the subject "HSP073F Research Ethics". 

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