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Published September 8, 2023 | Version v1
Project deliverable Open

Ethics Framework and Guidelines for Participatory Processes in the Activities of Research Funding Organizations

  • 1. Martijn
  • 2. Kalli
  • 3. Stefanie
  • 4. Bernard
  • 5. Neelke


The following framework supports the ethical preparation, implementation, and evaluation of participatory processes in research funding and (applied) research & innovation (R&I). It helps the user understand the context in which they undertake a participatory process and guides them through mapping and addressing the ethical challenges and limitations that might arise. The framework was developed with a focus on the activities of research funding organizations (RFOs), including participation in strategy development and agenda setting, call topic definition and formulation, (project and proposal) evaluation processes, and R&I projects. It thus addresses different contexts, resources, and needs that impact decisions on how to conduct participatory processes in an ethical manner, and provides guidance to ensure stakeholder participation is executed without disregarding values such as fairness, transparency, equality, and privacy. Through this, it might also support future ethics review and evaluation procedures that assess the planning and implementation of participatory processes and offer a common frame of reference for different stakeholders to discuss and understand participation in R&I.

The Ethics Framework and Guidelines for Participatory Processes in the Activities of Research Funding Organizations were developed in the context of the H2020-project PRO-Ethics [grant number 872441]. The framework reflects the theoretical and empirical data and experiences collected in this time, as analyzed and synthesized by the authors of this document with support from the project consortium. The content of the document is the sole responsibility of its author(s) and any opinions expressed herein should not be taken to represent an official position of the European Commission.

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PRO-Ethics – Participatory Real Life Experiments in Research and Innovation Funding Organisations on Ethics 872441
European Commission