The following principles and guidelines constitute the groundwork from which all further policies regarding the development, promotion and carrying out of research at NDU shall be derived.
Fundamental Principles governing Research at NDU
As a fundamental part of its mission, Notre Dame University emphasizes its commitment to carry out and disseminate the results of basic and applied research as well as of the creative work in the arts. This commitment shall be subject to fundamental principles respecting the freedom of thought, the diversity of scholarly endeavor, and the University's mission as a Lebanese, not-for-profit, Catholic institution of higher education based on the philosophy and requisites of the American model of liberal arts education.
Research Ethics: Ethical principles, as determined by the University’s mission and as prescribed by general and Christian rules governing human rights, animal protection, and respect for the environment, shall be observed at all times in any kind of research activity at NDU. Any researcher whose work may in any way be related to these principles shall be bound to fully disclose the methods and results related to his/her research in order to ensure full transparency and accountability to the University and to the overall scientific community.
Freedom of Research: In tune with the basic tenets of the liberal arts tradition of education, scholarly research at NDU shall be free, provided compliance with the principles of research ethics as described above and in concordance with the mission and interests of the University. Researchers at NDU are thus encouraged to carry out scholarly research in any field of interest to them, and to seek funding for this research in any way they deem appropriate.
University Support for Research: NDU commits itself to the creation and promotion of a general atmosphere conducive to individual and collective research, to the allocation of a specific part of its budget for research activities, to a systematic program for attracting external financing and sponsoring of research, to the dissemination of all results derived from research, and to the establishment of the best possible conditions for carrying out research at all levels, whether in development and design or in publication, dissemination and integration into the classroom. The University places special emphasis on research work that encourages and advances universal values based on humanistic principles, social justice and spiritual development.
Goals and Objectives
Commensurate with the University’s mission, vision and core values, as well as with its commitment to liberal arts education, increased emphasis shall be placed on the academic development process for both faculty members and students.
While emphasizing the paramount role of fundamental research activities by faculty members in the academic development process at NDU, emphasis on student research shall be considered as a complementary aspect of research at NDU. Student research shall go hand-in-hand with the development of faculty teaching and research skills in the respective majors and in the General Education Requirements (GER) courses. The latter offers a platform for academic development based on educational inter-disciplinarity.
Inter-disciplinarity as such, be it in the education of students or in the research activity of faculty members, shall always be considered as a commendable track towards knowledge creation and a powerful promotion of NDU as a place of choice for scholars at all levels.
The University's commitment to gender equality and cultural diversity enables it to serve the interests of the community and to help integrate and retain faculty members and students in a way that reflects the complex makeup of the country as a whole. The use of outreach programs and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will enable the University to introduce “Information Commons” by integrating the resources of the respective Faculties, libraries and research centers as well as the greater scientific community. This process will serve NDU targets in terms of funding and resource development by linking it to alumni, potential domestic partners and international donors and sponsors.
Supporting Research at NDU
The following basic duties in supporting and conducting research at NDU shall be applied.
Protecting the Right of All to Do Research: The primary guideline of NDU in supporting research shall be to protect the right of all individuals, be they faculty members, students, or non-academic research staff, to be involved in research activities. Participants in the research process are free to carry out their research as they see fit, provided the principles of research ethics as described above are always respected. The University shall also acknowledge the eligibility of all its researchers, including students, for financial support by the University within the limit of its resources and its priorities for funding research projects coming from the various Faculties and research centers. In return, any researcher at NDU shall assume responsibility for protecting the best interests of the University when carrying out any kind of research, including the rights of the University as detailed in any contract pertaining to a research activity or the general duties of researchers towards the University. Pos
sible misconduct by researchers shall be dealt with according to the general academic policies and by the appropriate committees or panels.
Disclosure of Research Results: The University shall not participate in research projects classified as secret or constrained by any secrecy-of-results agreements of any kind, except upon the explicit approval of the President and in concordance with the research ethical principles set above. In particular, the University shall not approve in principle that its researchers be involved in research the results of which cannot be disclosed publicly due to the researcher’s possible agreement with an outside party involved in or sponsoring the said research.
The right to publish and disseminate research results, and the obligation to disclose research methods and results, including those related to artistic production, as well as to demonstrate their compliance and transparency with regard to the general principles set above, apply to faculty members, students, and non-academic staff alike. The right and obligation to disseminate results could also be significant in cases related to the integration of certain findings into students' Masters and doctoral dissertations.
The University does, however, recognize that the fundamental principles of research ethics allow for specific forms of constraint and confidentiality in order to protect personal and private information that might have been used in the course of the research process.
Departments, Research Centers and Laboratories: Research at NDU shall be undertaken as part of the activities to be performed by the basic academic units of the University, i.e. the departments, Faculties, research centers, interdisciplinary units, and laboratories. In line with its declared commitment to enhance research for the service of the community, be it in a local, national, regional or international setting, NDU emphasizes the need for all academic units to engage in interdisciplinary research besides their basic internal scholarly work. Accordingly, NDU strongly encourages research networks among its various academic units in order to achieve the following:
- Secure optimal conditions which enable active members in the individual departments and units to do research.
- Support international research projects and cooperation between individual researchers and University research centers on the one hand, and international partners on the other.
- Establish and promote national and international funding programs by connecting the University with as many external academic institutions and exchange programs as possible.
- Cooperate with the private and public sectors, nationally and internationally, in order to promote funded cooperative research.
- Work with representatives of the local community in order to disseminate research results that are beneficial to the mission of the University and to the economic and social advancement of Lebanon.
- Ensure that the results of research carried out at NDU are integrated into the teaching process as far as possible.
Promoting Research at NDU
Promoting research at NDU by developing research-related policies and providing administrative follow-up for research endeavors is of particular significance and shall be carried out according to the following guidelines.
The University Council1
shall be the primary framer and initiator of policies with regard to research and research-related matters, in addition to its responsibilities in reviewing the proper functioning of the various research-related policies and establishing the necessary preconditions for supporting research at NDU.
Research activities at NDU, which are carried out according to the set fundamental principles, may be initiated and followed up through the concerned Faculties, through the University Research Board (URB) or through any other committee and panel that the University might find necessary to establish in order to deal with specific research-related cases requiring special attention.
Conflicts regarding authorship and ownership rights, the dissemination of research results, the ethics governing the research methods, the possible misconduct by researchers, or any related case, shall be dealt with by the appropriate University appeal bodies.
Sponsored Research: A University Sponsored Research Policy (USRP) shall govern the activities/projects sponsored by internal or external sources in all their phases, from the submission of initial proposals through budgetary control up to the final dissemination of results. Sponsored research is a fundamental part of NDU’s research output and, as such, shall be given particular attention. The USRP shall also ensure that any sponsored research policy is carried out in the best interest of the research per se, the proper use and dissemination of results, the interests of the external partners and sponsors, and the mission of the University.
Research Cooperation and Visiting Research Scholars: In accordance with its goal of supporting a general atmosphere conducive to research, NDU shall enhance its cooperation with other universities and institutes of research, and create platforms and frameworks for exchanging research scholars with these partners. This shall include, among others, the shaping of provisions for protecting the research-related rights of visiting scholars doing research at NDU, as well as those of NDU faculty members and students doing the same abroad.
1Or the University Senate (through the University Research Committee) if substituted for the University Council.