• End of Registration
  • feb 02 2021
  • Classes Start
  • feb 01 2021
  • Classes End
  • mar 01 2021
  • Estimated Effort
  • 2:30 h/week
  • Language
  • English

About This Course

What does integrity in research mean and why is it important to follow an ethical conduct when carrying your research work? Upon entering a PhD programme, you are moving from a student’s position, where your main responsibility was to acquire and demonstrate acquisition of knowledge, to a position of producing knowledge. This creates new relationships with colleagues and your hosting institutions, new expectations in your ability to produce knowledge properly and new responsibilities towards science and society in general.

To help you understand these changes, and because regulatory texts now demand that all doctoral students be trained in research integrity and ethics, the STIC doctoral school of the University Paris-Saclay provides this course to doctoral and masters students, but it can also benefit researchers. The course focuses on the specific types of issues you will encounter in information technologies. It can be appropriate to students in STEM fields, but covers only partially the needs of other scientific domains such as health or social sciences.

We hope it will trigger your interest and guide you along your career, because, as you’ll see, with the immense potential of Information Sciences and Technologies to transform our societies, come great responsibilities for the scientists who push them forward.


The course is essentially text-based, with numerous references and optional parts. Quizzes at the end of each chapter help you assess your understanding. Some of the quizz questions are hard, somewhat subjective, and thus you are invited to discuss proposed answers in the forum to earn credit. Some complete the course in several dense hours, mostly to get certified, while others like to take their time to engage the optional material over the full duration of the course, in 10-15 hours total: you are free to choose your approach.


This course is addressed to Masters, PhD students and researchers in Information & Communication Sciences & Technologies, with no particular prerequisites. Researchers in STEM fields (Physics, Electronics, Materials sciences...) can also benefit from this course, specially the parts on Research Integrity and Research Ethics.

Course Staff

Thomas Baudel

Thomas Baudel

Research Director at the IBM France Lab and member-at-large of the STICs doctoral school of the University Paris-Saclay. An alumni of University of Paris-Sud, he has worked at Silicon Graphics, Alias|Wavefront, ILOG and IBM as a researcher in the industry. Conducting research in a private company involves addressing many legal, ethical and deontological considerations, which made him want to share his experience with young researchers.

Christine Froidevaux

Christine Froidevaux

Professor in Computer Science at the University of Paris-Sud, member of the Bioinformatics group at the Laboratory of Computer Science LRI, head of the master of Bioinformatics at Paris-Saclay. Christine is a member of the commission de réflexion sur l'éthique de la recherche en science et technologies du numérique (CERNA), which has developed a curriculum in research integrity and ethics to address the challenges faced by doctoral students in digital technologies.

Arnaud Billion

Arnaud Billion

Arnaud Billion is specialized in International Copyright Law, graduated from King's College London and University of Strasbourg. He works as a referee for AI and IT ethics at IBM France Center for Advanced Studies, and operates several open innovation projects. His domains of interests encompass Intellectual Property Law applied to IT, Information Ethics and Computable Law.

Other contributors

This course has benefited from the experience and feedback of many experts in the areas it covers. The course staff wishes to thank Alice René, responsible for bioethics regulation at CNRS, Max Dauchet, professor emeritus at the Université de Lille and president of the CERNA, Jules-Marc Baudel, former member-at-large of the Paris bar association, Laurence Devillers, Research Director at LIMSI and member of the CERNA, Wendy Mackay, Research Director at INRIA, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, professor at University of Paris-Sud, Nicole Bidoit, professor at University of Paris-Sud and head of the STICs doctoral school of University Paris-Saclay, Sophie Vuillet-Tavernier, director of public and research relations at CNIL, and Russell Owen, Engineering Manager at Lyft, for their numerous and insightful suggestions. It is to be understood that their assistance does not constitute an endorsement, and that the course staff endorses full responsibility of the course material provided therein.

Course summary

The course starts with a pragmatic “must know” perspective, which can and must be acquired easily and fast, and progresses towards more conceptual developments aimed at opening you up to the uncertainties and risks that are specific to your scientific domain:

  • The Doctoral Contract (researcher as a subject under law and an employee),
  • Research Integrity (producing science correctly),
  • Research Ethics (producing science responsibly),
  • Computer and Information Ethics (how these apply to your research context),
  • Intellectual property (researcher as a producer and consumer of value),
  • Scientific Communication and Internet Ethics (disseminating knowledge publicly),
  • Privacy and Personal data (protecting our digital selves),
  • Emerging issues in Computer and Information Ethics (what’s next, optional chapter).


This course delivers a certificate of successful attendance to students who score 75% or higher on the mandatory quizzes. There are about 100 questions spread over 7 mandatory sections. Participation in the forum allows catching up missed questions, as our goal is to allow all students to be certified.

Many doctoral schools in STEM disciplines validate the certificate as qualifying for 12 hours of training in Research Integrity & Ethics, in conformance with the ministerial ruling of 2016 regarding doctoral training. If you are a PhD student, you are advised to contact your doctoral school to check if they will validate this training as such, and register your attendance in ADUM (for students in France).

Terms of use - course content -

Reserved rights

Restricted license: the production is the intellectual property of its authors and therefore cannot be reused. You can still keep a copy of the course material for your personal use.

Terms of use - content created by the participants -


You are free to Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credits, don't create derivatives, and don't make commercial uses of the material.