Regulation of the Ethics Committee of Instituto Superior Técnico
This Regulation defines the rules of operation of the Ethics Committee, of the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), hereinafter referred to as EC.
1 – The EC is an advisory body to the President on ethical issues within the scope of IST’s activity in the areas of teaching, scientific research, the provision of services to the community and the functioning, in general, of the institution.
2 – In the exercise of its functions and powers, the EC acts with total independence from the governing bodies of IST.
The EC has the mission of promoting high ethical standards in IST, being able to present proposals or recommendations to the IST President and to pronounce itself, at the request of the IST President, on ethical issues raised in the areas of teaching, scientific research, provision of services to the community and the functioning of the institution’s services.
Secrecy and confidentiality
The EC members are subject to the duty of secrecy and confidentiality in relation to matters submitted to their appreciation or those which they become aware of in the exercise of their mandate.
Composition and mandate
1 – The EC is composed by five members, appointed by the IST President, namely a president and four members, who may be internal or external to IST.
2 – The EC may request the collaboration of technicians or experts, on an eventual basis, and whenever it deems necessary to clarify matters subject to opinions, these technicians and experts being subject to the duty of secrecy and confidentiality under the terms of the previous article of this regulation.
3 – Whenever the collaboration of experts or technicians implies the payment of fees or expenses, the EC must submit a reasoned proposal to the Governing Board of IST to request the respective expense authorization.
4 – The term of the members’ finishes with the end of the IST President term, with the possibility of renewal for a second successive term or any number of non-successive terms.
5 – Any EC member can resign his mandate by written communication to the IST President, and must remain in office until the appointment of a new member, which must occur within a maximum period of sixty days.
6 – For their activity, the EC members receive any remuneration, direct or indirect, without prejudice to the reimbursement of transportation expenses.
1 – The general duties of the EC are:
- i) To propose to the IST President and to the ADIST and IST-ID Directors policies on ethics in the field of teaching, scientific research and the provision of services to the community;
- ii) To give an opinion to the IST President and the Directors of ADIST and IST-ID on ethical issues arising from the conduct of members of the academic community that are associated with an activity in the areas of teaching, scientific research and the provision of services to the community and in the areas referred to in the following numbers, whenever requested by the IST President;
iii) To give an opinion on regulations and procedures that fall within the mission of this Committee, whenever requested by the IST President.
2 – The specific duties of the EC are to prepare proposals, recommendations and opinions on ethical issues and which are related to:
- i) The involvement of human beings in research projects, directly as objects of research or indirectly but also susceptible to affect them;
- ii) Respect for informed consent;
iii) The protection of privacy and personal data;
- iv) Respect for academic integrity;
- v) The inherent relationship between the different members of the academic community;
- vi) Protection of intellectual property rights
vii) The protection of especially vulnerable people;
viii) The use of animals in research projects;
- ix) Other matters that the IST President considers should be considered by the EC in carrying out its mission.
3 – The EC is also responsible for making recommendations and providing opinions on the application of national and international guidelines on ethics and bioethics.
Impediments and conflicts of interest
None of the EC members can intervene in the elaboration of the respective opinions, proposals or recommendations when it is in one of the situations of impediment and conflicts of interest provided for in the Code of Administrative Procedure, or in other regulations of the Instituto Superior Técnico or of the Universidade de Lisboa.
1 – The EC operates in plenary meetings, under the direction of its President.
2 – The EC ordinarily meets every six months and extraordinarily whenever convened by its President.
3 – The summons for the meetings must indicate the date, time and place of the meeting, as well as the agenda to be sent to all EC members, at least five days in advance, and the meetings may be held by videoconference or other electronic means deemed appropriate.
4 – The questions to be considered must be presented at a meeting of the Committee, and can subsequently be assigned to one or more members to prepare an opinion, proposal or recommendation.
5 – Once drafted, opinions, proposals or recommendations are discussed and voted on at a meeting of the EC.
6 – The EC can only deliberate on first call when the majority of the number of its members is present.
7 – Decisions are taken by a simple majority vote of the members present at the meeting.
8 – In the event that there is no majority, under the terms of the previous number, the resolution will be postponed until the next meeting scheduled for that purpose.
9 – If there is a tie in the vote, the President has a casting vote.
10 – Decisions involving the assessment of the behaviour, qualities or qualifications of any person are taken by secret ballot.
11 – Minutes will be drawn up of the meetings.
12 – The minutes are subject to approval at the beginning of the next meeting, without prejudice to the approved opinions, proposals and recommendations being immediately sent to the IST President.
Exercise of functions
When applicable, the time spent by IST EC members in the exercise of their duties, should always be imputed to normal working hours and considered, for all purposes, a priority.
Duties of the President
1 – The President of the EC is responsible for:
- a) Represent the EC;
- b) Call the meetings and establish the respective agenda;
- c) Chairing the meetings and guiding the respective work;
- d) Ensure the regularity of the deliberations and ensure the forwarding and dissemination of the opinions and recommendations issued;
- e) Request advice from technicians or experts, if decided by the EC;
- f) Ensure coordination with the Pedagogical Council and the Scientific Council, or with IST services;
- g) Designate am employee for administrative support.
2 – The person appointed according to paragraph g) of the previous number has the following duties:
- a) Secretary the meetings;
- b) Elaborate the minutes of the meetings;
- c) Perform the EC administrative tasks.
Request for opinions and recommendations
1 – The request for opinions to the EC, as well as any delivery or request for documents must be made through the secretariat of the Management Council of IST.
2 – The maximum period for issuing opinions and recommendations shall be thirty working days from the date of entry of the request in the EC, with fifteen working days being the period for the rendering of opinions which, under 6, point to the assessment, but within the scope of a disciplinary procedure, of the reported conduct.
3 – Whenever considered necessary, the EC may request additional elements and documents from the intervening parties.
1 – The present regulation enters into force after its approval by the IST President.
Despacho 8991/2017_DR 11 Out 2017