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Responsible Research in Practice


Admission requirements

MSc Psychology (research) students with an almost completed thesis; more specifically, the ‘methods’ and ‘results’ section of the Master thesis should be ready (or in ‘mock results’ form) at the start of the course.


This module takes place at the end of the two-year master program. The course aims at enabling students to evaluate research in psychology from an ethical, integrity point of view. As a way of applying this knowledge, the student’s thesis process is examined in the assignments. In the course we will discuss responsible and irresponsible practices within empirical research throughout the research lifecycle: Generating and specifying hypotheses (integrity of existing research, reproducibility & replicability, specifying hypotheses), designing the study (sampling from a population, determining sample size, preregistration), conducting study & collecting data (measurement, researcher decisions, open data), analysing data & testing hypotheses (data quality check, testing hypotheses, beyond standard practices), interpreting data (estimation & validation, preventing mistakes in conclusions, evaluating a collection of studies), publishing or conducting next experiment (writing scientific reports, bias in publishing, team science, the future is Open). A meta perspective on these topics within the research life cycle will provide students with a rich and transferable knowledge base needed to become the researchers of the future.

Putting knowledge into practice, students write a report about the thesis of another student with a detailed, critical scrutiny of the thesis process and practices. In order to write this report the students will interview each other about the various aspects of empirical research and how these were operationalized in the thesis project.

Course objectives

  • The student learns to look critically at his/her own research practices and those of others.

  • The student learns about pitfalls in the stages of the research lifecycle from a research integrity perspective.

  • The students learn to look beyond standard practices.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis.
You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from early August. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December. The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC)

By registering for a course you are also automatically registered for the Brightspace module. Anyone who is not registered for a course therefore does not have access to the Brightspace module and cannot participate in the first sit of the exam of that course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

Mode of instruction

6 2-hour lectures.

Assessment method

The assessment is based on a two written reports and an exam (with essay questions). For the exam and the first written report a grade from 1 to 10 is obtained. The second report is graded by a pass/no pass.
The final grade is the average of the two grades, provided that the second report is graded a 'pass'. The exam covers both the reading list and topics discussed during the lectures. Students are entitled to individually view their marked examination within a period of 30 days following the publication of the results of a written examination. The entire course is in English.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Course syllabus includes two readings each week (i.e., papers, blogs, news items that are Open Access/freely available). The syllabus is available on Brightspace.

Contact information

Dr. Anna van 't Veer