Corruption in Academic Research

Corruption in academic research is a global problem with grave implications for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It manifests itself in for example conflicts of interest, lack of academic integrity, bribery, favoritism, nepotism, embezzlement, fraud, sextortion, and the political interference with research agendas and university administrations. In short, corruption in academic research is a societal ill that universities globally must actively manage and prevent.


The purpose of this course is to strengthen the capacity to recognise, understand, and manage corruption and other forms of misconduct in academic research. As such, the course provides knowledge of the risks, manifestations, and negative effects of corruption in academic research,  with a focus also on the ways in which corruption negatively impacts the life, opportunities and career of the individual researcher. The course moreover provides insights about approaches that can help manage and prevent corruption in research.

Learning Objectives

After active participation in the course you will be able to
  • identify risks, signs, and manifestations of corruption in research;
  • account for the negative consequences of corruption in research;
  • outline different approaches to managing and preventing corruption in research;
  • analyse the character and consequences of corruption in your organisation; and
  • present an action plan for how to manage and prevent corruption in your organisation.


Through the diversion of funds, the non-merit-based recruitment of researchers, and the distortion or even pure fabrication of results, corruption and other forms of misconduct in academic research prevent human capital formation and erode the quality of research. Corruption ruins confidence in research and prevents marginalised groups and individuals living in poverty from entering research. In addition, it increases the risk of unqualified practitioners in professions with critical public impact, such as medical doctors, lawyers, teachers, and engineers.


The course consists of four different modules:
  1. Risks, signs, and manifestations of corruption in research;
  2. Consequences of corruption in research;
  3. Managing and preventing corruption in research; and
  4. Action plan

Target Group

Researchers and other relevant staff at Swedish academic institutions involved in Swedish development cooperation, as well as their international partners.
If you are working for a non-Swedish organisation you need to be recommended by your Swedish partner organisation. The training is not targeted at private individuals.


The registration period begins 20 January and ends 23 February 2022. Applicants will receive information about admittance to the course during the first week of Mars.
We encourage that several participants (e.g. 2–4) from the same organisation attend the course together, as this increases the probability that what you have learned during the course will have impact on your organisation. You may also want to consider attending the course together with your international partners.
Since sustainable change work requires a certain amount of time investment, it is essential that the participants are willing and have their manager’s permission to set aside time for following up on the topic of the course also after the course days.
Participants should attend the course in its entirety and adjust other commitments accordingly.

Date and Time

28 March - 1 April 2022
To accommodate the needs of participants from different time zones, the course will be given during two different time slots (timing below given in time zone UTC +1). Some sessions will be given jointly for both groups. The sessions of Group A take place in the afternoon and the sessions of Group B in the morning. In the application form you will be asked about your group preference.

Outline of the preliminary programme


The course will take place online through the digital platform Zoom. All participants need to have access to a personal computer with a strong internet connection (you should be able to stream video). We recommend using headphones rather than the computer audio, to reduce looping of sound in the mic, background noise and to generally improve the learning experience for all participants. 

Course Manager

Lena Fassali, Sida Partnership Forum


Pre-assignments are estimated to take no more than six hours to complete.


The training is free of charge.




If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mikaela Edholm, Sida Partnership Forum.