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The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)

Guideline 4

Responsibility of the heads of research work units

The head of a research work unit is responsible for the entire unit. Collaboration within the unit is designed such that the group as a whole can perform its tasks, the necessary cooperation and coordination can be achieved, and all members understand their roles, rights and duties. The leadership role includes ensuring adequate individual supervision of early career researchers, integrated in the overall institutional policy, as well as career development for researchers and research support staff. Suitable organisational measures are in place at the level of the individual unit and of the leadership of the institution to prevent the abuse of power and exploitation of dependent relationships.


The size and the organisation of the unit are designed to allow leadership tasks, particularly skills training, research support and supervisory duties, to be performed appropriately. The performance of leadership tasks is associated with a corresponding responsibility. Researchers and research support staff benefit from a balance of support and personal responsibility appropriate to their career level. They are given adequate status with corresponding rights of participation. Through gradually increasing autonomy, they are empowered to shape their career.

FAQ on responsibility of the heads of research work units

How can I embed and project the topic of “good research practice” (GRP) within my institution?

  • GRP should become a regular subject of dialogue in the institution.
  • Various institutional governing bodies should be involved, e.g. the faculty council and senate.
  • Awareness of GRP should be raised in the context of appointment negotiations, and GRP expertise should form part of every appointment agreement.
  • GRP should be one of the topics addressed at introductory days/events for new professors.
  • GRP should be an integral part of higher education; courses on GRP should be fully integrated in the curriculum and should be a prerequisite for enrolment on a master’s degree programme; concepts are to be developed for this purpose.
  • Training should also be provided for ombudspersons to enable them to develop their expertise and engage in exchanging their experiences. All in all, the institution should support positive promotion of the position of ombudsperson.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL4 (faq)