Writing a decent proposal takes about 17 pages. Well, it is time to start. The first page is easy. The first page is about personal information. There are two more easy pages; the one with the information of the promoter and the one where you and you promoter sign. On the last page where you sign there are some things that you have to declare. I am going to read what I am about to declare.
In the Netherlands, it is important to declare that your research will not harm Animals (they have a code about this: read here). The Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences KNAW, the Association of universities VSNU, and the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers made this code. They give concrete substance to the wide endorsed view in society that openness about scientific research with animals is desirable and necessary. The authors of the code assume that animal testing in the fundamental and applied scientific research at this time is inevitable and that with regard to the decision-making process for animal testing and the implementation of it, utmost care should be exercised.
The public debate on the importance of animal testing and animal welfare is no longer exclusively a matter of the Government (rules, laws, monitoring, enforcement) and the Executive institutions and companies, but of all societal stakeholders and interested parties.
The other code is the one of Biosecurity. Life science research leads to knowledge and insights that lead to a not to be underestimated contribution to health and well-being on a global scale. But the same knowledge and the same insights can also be exploited for the development of biological and toxin weapons. When a large number of countries have signed the ratification of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in 1972 an important step was taken to prevent the development, production, storage and acquisition of these biological and toxin weapons. However, the risk of misuse of biological knowledge is still there. You see this in movies all the time. There are still States that are not signatories to the Convention. In addition, there is a danger of the so-called Bioterrorism: the use of biological agents and toxins by terrorists.
Click here for the code.
I finally had some time to read some more from “A toolkit for measuring early childhood development in low- and middle-income countries” by Lia Fernald, Elisabeth Prado, Patricia Kariger and Abbie Raikes. There were several interesting things. One thing I liked was the Taxonomy of Child Development Measures. It gives structure to the measurements I will be making. Here from chapter 4 the taxonomy.
Also very interesting is the part about which measurements to use for what.
Somewhere at the end of a chapter, I read about the ethics commission for research that are about young children. This is something I have to deal with. Once I read about it, it kept turning in my mind. So I decided to ask Professor Ronald Severing. What it was and if I really should do something about it.
I asked Professor Severing about the ethics commission. He said that in the Netherlands every University has an ethics commission for tests/assessments with children. All research all over the world that has to do with children has to pass through an ethics commission. This commission asks a lot of questions about the measurements, their ‘why’, the time they will take, how the children will be protected, how the data collected will be protected and so on. Most of the time not only on paper but the candidate has to defend the measurements before the commission in person. You have to do a lot of things. This is the reason that most universities in the Caribbean are not researching young children anymore. Researchers are giving up because of all the regulations.
Should I give up before I start? No, I won’t. Let me first figure out what is needed. I think that there should be more research on children. Especially young children because I think that at that young age children can learn almost anything. I have seen it with my daughter. With 4 years I thought her simple addition and subtraction with negative numbers (under 10) and she never made a mistake. All the other things I taught her from 3 to 5 years, she still knows them. How wonderful.
Professor Severing took the time to explain to me the difference between tests and assessments. But also things about how to be recognizable so that all your articles, publishments, presentations will be linked to your name. As he has been part of a research school in Holland, he shared some things about the functioning of research schools. When you talk to professor Severing it is always a shower of information. Thank you professor Severing.
Our director of the university wrote a letter to us on March 8, International Women’s day. Here is the letter.
I wish you a Happy International Women’s’ day!
Over the years women have proven the global community their value by engaging in all kinds of projects, developments, and professions. Research has shown that the role and presence of women have changed significantly in the workplace over the decades. Just to mention that at the UoC you represent almost 65% of the fulltime staff and out of the five deans of our faculties four are women.
On this special day, I want to congratulate and thank you for being part of the UoC community and your contribution to the development of our students and our university. I will use three quotes to illustrate your greatness as a woman and your importance for our university and community.
“Women are the real architects of society” (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens” (Michelle, Obama)
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman” (Margareth Thatcher)
You are valuable to us .…. I wish you lots of beautiful moments today and every day!
Dr. Francis de Lanoy