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18. Aug 2022

Good Scientific Practice, Negotiation and Conflict Management (October 27-28, 2022)

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The workshop combines Good Scientific Practice (Part 1) with Negotiation & Conflict Management (Part 2). During your doctoral studies you will come into contact with other scientists and collaborate with them. Here negotiation skills can be helpful. This may even prevent potential conflicts with your supervisor.

Part 1: Good Scientific Practice (October 27, 2022 | Weinberg Campus)

Good scientific practice covers a substantial spectrum of scientific conduct: Dealing with data (including checking, recording, ownership and storage), the publishing process and authorship, responsible supervision, academic cooperation, conflicts of interest and dealing with conflicts. Inappropriate academic behaviour includes inventing or faking data, violating intellectual property (theft of ideas or plagiarism), and obstructing the research of others. More subtle topics, such as skepticism, critical thinking, reproducibility, handling creativity, the danger of axiomatic assumptions and confirmation bias occur much more often and therefore represent the “heart of good scientific practice”.

Every scientist should have a professional understanding of all mentioned topics.

Codes and values of good scientific practice

  • Systematic skepticism: openness to doubt, even about one’s own results and about the results of one’s own group.
  • Reproducibility: The more surprising or the more hoped-for a result, the more important it is – within the bounds of reasonable cost and effort – to independently reproduce the means of achieving the result within the research group before communicating it externally
  • Realization of tacit, axiomatic assumptions (awareness of own assumptions)
  • “Wishful thinking” motivated by self-interest or morals
  • Confirmation bias in planning, pursuing and analyzing experiments
  • Systematic alertness to any possible misinterpretations as a consequence of the methodically limited ascertain ability of the object of research (over-generalization)
  • Criteria of evidence in interdisciplinary researchoCritical and creative thinking: pitfalls in the creativity process, genealogy of ideas, inspiration versus theft of ideas

Collaboration between supervisors, colleagues and junior researchers

  • Tasks of leadership, monitoring, conflict resolution, quality control
  • Active promotion of junior scientists’ scientific qualifications (mentoring, thesis committee, etc.) – Openness to criticism and doubt expressed by other scientists and team colleagues
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Hindrance of the scientific work of others

Handling of data

  • Precise observance of discipline-specific rules for acquiring, selecting and processing data
  • Reliable securing and storage of primary data for 10 years; clear and comprehensible documentation of the methods employed (e.g. lab book) and all important results


  • Publication on principle of research results (principle of the public availability of theresults of research)
  • Fair evaluation and citation of any literature used
  • Honesty in the recognition of the contributions of colleagues when writing reviews
  • Careful, altruistic and impartial appraisal of colleagues
  • Appropriate correction of published mistakes
  • Making research results, achieved with public funds, freely available wherever possible
  • “Honorary authorship”, delaying of reviews, performance of biased appraisals, performance of an appraisal where there is a suspected or actual conflict of interests

Conflicts of interest

  • Conflicts with colleagues, group leaders, collaborations, companies, spin-offs, publishing companies, funding agencies

Definition of scientific misconduct

  • Definitions of good scientific practice and scientific misconduct
  • Degrees and extent of scientific misconduct
  • Examples for responsible and irresponsible conduct of research

Dealing with (alleged) scientific misconduct

  • Conflict management
  • Guidelines from the Max-Planck-Society

Part 2: Negotiation & Conflict Management (October 28, 2022 | online)

“Where there is negotiation, there is hope for agreement.” (Somalian Proverb).
“Never split the difference.” (Chris Voss, FBI)

Wherever there are people, there are “converging interests”. Interestingly, in Latin “confligere” translates to “conflict” – but most would agree that negotiation is a procedure that is preferable to conflict. In fact, negotiation can be seen as an optimization procedure – and most scientists would agree that for constrained situations optimization procedures lead to an optimal situation.
In this course we will address both the cognitive fundamentals of negotiation (Harvard Principles) and the successful use of the emotional underpinnings (Chris Voss). We will practice listening, mirroring, getting to “that ́s right” and making the other side find your solutions. These tools will be applied to everyday situations to develop ideal scenarios for finding optimal solutions.


  • Heart vs mind – every negotiation is emotional. Use that!
  • Establishing rapport = connecting with the other side using mirroring and labeling
  • Listening to learn and searching for surprises
  • Getting to the “no”: giving the other side a sense of control and security
  • Tactical empathy & calibrated questions
  • Training concrete negotiation situations from your own practice
  • Optimal preparation of discussions and negotiations, do an accusation audit
  • Increase mental, social and communicative competence for demanding negotiations
  • Achieve long-term win-win results in the most difficult situations
  • Develop your own negotiation style

Terms and Application

Part 1 – Good Scientific Practice
  • October 27, 2022: 9am – 5pm
  • Format: on-site at MLU
  • Location: Von-Seckendorff-Platz 1, SR: 5.10 (roof level)
  • Group size: maximum 20
  • Workshop-Language: English
Part 2 – Negotiation & Conflict Management
  • October 28, 2022: 9am – 1pm 
  • Format: online
  • Group size: maximum 20
  • Workshop-Language: English

Registration | closed


PD Dr. rer. nat. Daniel Mertens is a trainer at Schiller & Mertens. Furthermore he is Biochemist, Lecturer and group leader at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and at the University of Ulm.


This workshop has been realised with financial support from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

Über Thomas Michael

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