Responsible PhD: RRI and PhD Research Projects

Between 20H and 50H

This seminar will introduce PhD students to different concepts of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and initiate deliberation on how to make a PhD research project more responsible. Students will read about and discuss several concepts of RRI in groups and then apply them to concrete case examples of R&I processes. Furthermore, participants will introduce their own PhD research projects or first project ideas and identify possibilities to make them more responsible by using various concepts of RRI.


EHEA: Third cycle

EQF level: 8

ECTS credits

1.0 ECTS credit (workload of 25 and 30 hours)

Year of study

Beginning of PhD research project.

Learning outcomes (LO)

On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. analyse and discuss the main characteristics of different concepts of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and their implications for research practices;
  2. apply different concepts of RRI to identify possible ways to make concrete R&I processes more responsible;
  3. actively participate in discussions on RRI aspects of the theses of others;
  4. dand to identify possibilities to make their own research projects both on the procedural and outcome level more responsible.
Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment will be based on the realisation and quality of the participants:

  • continuous and active participation in the different workshop activities;
  • poster presentation of the research project and related insights regarding RRI from the different workshop activities;
  • and their final essay deliberating on the RRI aspects of their research project.
Prerequisites and co-requisites

Participating students need to meet all requirements to enrol in a doctoral or PhD programme. They should be at the beginning of their PhD project, but they should already know their (preliminary) research topics and designs.

Mode of delivery

This course employs in-class plenary discussions and small group work. Independent preparation of literature as well as a presentation in advance of the course is necessary.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course combines different learning activities and teaching methods. Students will have to complete reading assignments and prepare for a short presentation on their PhD research or research proposal in advance of the course. At the beginning of the course, a video on RRI will be presented as an input to facilitate discussion on different concepts of RRI in small groups, using an approach based on the Jigsaw method.

In changing small groups, students will compare and discuss different concepts of RRI, and will also apply these concepts in discussing R&I case examples and then their own PhD research projects. Finally, students will create posters displaying their research projects and related RRI aspects and present them in an in-class poster exhibition. To complete the course, students have to write an essay.