The code of ethics

Dear PhD Candidates, 

We hereby present you the proposal of the PhD student’s Ethical Principles, which is recommended by the KRD Board as a model that can be implemented at all higher education institutions in the country. We encourage academic communities of PhD candidates to establish their own set of ethical principles, taking into account the specificity of doctoral students’ working conditions in individual units.

This document was created as a result of Anna Koropczuk’s and Mateusz Szymura’s work with the support of the KRD Board and representatives of the doctoral community.


Pursuant to the delegation expressed in Art. 208 sec. 1a of the Law on Higher Education ………. adopts this PhD student’s Code of Ethics.

The acquiesced Code of Ethics for a PhD student is a set of principles indicating the way of self-regulation of the doctoral community in terms of the basic ethical values and good practices in science. Its base is the belief that respect for the virtue of scientific research and didactic work are fundamental for the doctoral community.

The long-standing tradition of doctoral studies has over the years undergone numerous modifications both in terms of the its form and the course of education. In particular, it concerned the duties assigned to doctoral students, as well as the rights given to them. The presented Code is an expression of unchanging ethical principles accompanying the third cycle of studies. It is a designation of the basic virtues that every doctoral student should be characterized by. At the same time, it is a signpost in case of doubts as to the desired way of action. Cause the final judge in ethical matters is the individual conscience of each doctoral student and the entire doctoral community.

The Code defines also the basic principles of appropriate practices related to conducting research and the didactic work by doctoral students. 

Chapter I

General Rules

§ 1

1. The doctoral student’s duties and the nature of the activities performed by him / her determine the scope of ethical standards,   which each doctoral student is obliged to follow.

2. A violation of the doctoral student’s dignity is such conduct of a doctoral student that could humiliate him/her in the public opinion or erode the trust in the academic community,  the higher education institution including. Such behavior is, in particular, any act that may undermine the trust in the scientific work of doctoral students or academic staff of the higher education institution, its results, and in the doctoral community. It is the duty of the doctoral student to comply with the ethical standards and principles set out in this Code.

§ 2

In cases not covered by this Code, the doctoral student should follow the internal acts issued by the bodies of higher education institution he/she is associated with and behave in accordance with the customs adopted in the academic community.

§ 3

Each doctoral student is obliged to cooperate in following the principles of this Code by doctoral students.

§ 4

The principles set out in this Code shall apply to the doctoral student both while conducting his didactic classes, research work and in his private life.

§ 5

A doctoral student should be characterized by: 

1) conscientiousness in undertaken activities, in particular in the didactic work and research conducted; 

2) impartiality in the work, research and deliberations undertaken, which should be manifested primarily in independence from any influence on the conducted activities; 

3) responsibility for actions taken, words and opinions expressed, including gestures and behavior in a public sphere; 

4) courage in undertaken research and presented conclusions, even if they are contradictory to the practice adopted so far; 

5) openness to cooperation with participants of the scientific discourse; 

6) reliability and credibility of the research presented.

Chapter II

Conducting research

§ 6

The doctoral student is obliged to scrupulously collect and process materials from the conducted research and to maintain the adequate diligence in their storage in such a way as to prevent their manipulation. At the same time, their storage should be done in such a way that, after the publication of the results, it is possible to access these materials, in accordance with the indications of individual scientific disciplines.

§ 7

Scientific research should be carried out on the basis of diligence, reliability, credibility and impartiality indicated.

§ 8

Scientific research should be conducted taking into account the safety rules, in particular in relation to those who contribute to the project team. 

§ 9

Financial resources allocated to research should be distributed rationally, taking into account the indications of common sense, logic and in accordance with the legal provisions.

§ 10

Research should be conducted in such a way so as not to infringe the copyrights of other people.


The fabrication of research results, falsification or plagiarism is highly unethical.

Chapter III

Conducting didactic classes and attitude towards students

§ 12

Within his/her scientific discipline, a doctoral student should have the necessary knowledge and skills for the competent and independent conducting didactic classes. The classes she/he conducts should encourage students to explore the issues that constitute the content of a specific subject.


The doctoral student should maintain an appropriate proportion between the requirements of the subject and his own expectations.

§ 14

Conducting classes should be consistent with the content of the subject and the technical conditions. At the same time, the doctoral student should make efforts to conduct classes using variety of forms and include the latest teaching methods.


1. A doctoral student should present decent behavior, in a way respecting accepted customs. He/She should refrain from comments related the person of the student.

 2. While assessing the student’s skills and knowledge in the field of the subject, the doctoral candidate should present reliability and professionalism.

Chapter IV

Attitude towards the Authorities of the higher education institution and other entities with which the doctoral student is associated

§ 16

The doctoral candidate is obliged to show respect to the Authorities of the higher education institution.

§ 17

1. A doctoral student is obliged to be tactful and restraint towards the Authorities of the higher education institution, its employees, colleagues and cooperating entities.

2. Even in the case of inappropriate behavior of the above-mentioned people, the doctoral student should turn out to be calm and tactful.

§ 18

The doctoral student is obliged to comply with the resolutions and ordinances issued in the frames of his higher education institution.

§ 19

A doctoral student is obliged to appear at every request of the Authorities of his higher education institution and in relevant cases immediately justify his failure to appear.


The doctoral student is obliged to properly mark all the undertaken activities on behalf of his higher education institution by indicating the logotype or annotation about affiliation. In the case of cooperation with external entities, this obligation stays the same.


A doctoral student undertaking activities in cooperation with several units is obliged to include relevant information about it in the documentation.

Chapter V

Participation in self-government and creating an academic community

§ 22

Each doctoral student is obliged to cooperate for the doctoral students’ self-government. 

§ 23

Any disputes arising between PhD candidates or PhD students and employees of the higher education institution should be first settled amicably.

§ 24

The doctoral student is obliged to follow the principles of solidarity with other doctoral students, as well as representatives of the academic community.


In relation to doctoral students and employees of the higher education institution, a doctoral student should provide help, advice and opinion.

§ 26

1. The doctoral student should participate in the organizational life of the higher education institution, including the actions lead by the self-government, through its bodies. 

2. As far as possible, the doctoral student should also participate in the social life of the doctoral community.

§ 27

1. The doctoral student undertakes to comply with the legal order of the Republic of Poland.

2. In the case of conducting research, as well as teaching abroad, or as part of cooperation with entities from foreign countries, the doctoral student undertakes to respect the law in force in that country.

§ 28

The doctoral candidate undertakes to cooperate in the promulgation and dissemination the principles of this Code.

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