Although the primary purpose of health research is to improve public health and welfare, not every type of research can be justified, no matter how great the benefits to individuals and societies. Because of this basic principle, the conditions for the proper practice of scientific investigation are based on research ethics and values, including respect for human dignity. Known as "best practices", these conditions take the form of rules that are acceptable to legislators and research stakeholders alike.
The FRQS is a pioneer and leader in ethics, scientific integrity and best practices. Working closely with the Québec government’s health department (Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux), we have established a quality assurance system complete with standards and monitoring procedures.
Another important component of best practices is the respect for intellectual property (IP). Several different parties bear joint responsibility for IP management activities, which include the generation, identification, protection, marketing, licensing, and exploitation of intellectual property arising from research. These parties, including research investigators working in research centres, groups or networks, as well as private and public partners, naturally, have varying interests. To address this challenge, the FRQS, together with its sister funding agencies (Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies and Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture), worked closely with the Québec government’s department for economic and innovation and exportation (Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation) to establish an action plan for IP management in Québec universities and all health and social services institutions where research is conducted.
To be eligible for funding, all research stakeholders in the fields of biomedical and social research – investigators, institutions belonging to Québec’s public health care system, granting agencies, professional corporations and teaching hospitals– must respect these best practices which are essential if Quebec intends to maintain the highest possible standards of scientific integrity.