The German Research Ombudsman

Ombuds Committee for Research Integrity in Germany

The German Research Ombudsman (Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft) is a committee appointed by the German Research Foundation (Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) that assists all scientists and researchers in Germany when it comes to questions and conflicts related to good research practice (GRP) and scientific integrity. The Ombuds Committee is supported in its deliberations and conflict mediation by an office that is located in Berlin.

The deliberations of the German Research Ombudsman are orientated in line with the 19 “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice” (see the DFG-Kodex 2019). Everyone is free to contact either the German Research Ombudsman or a local ombudsperson at a university or non-university research institution.

The German Research Ombudsman treats all enquiries neutrally, fairly and in strict confidence..


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    The Ombudsman ides confidential advice on matters of research integrity and in specific cases of conflict (including by telephone through the administrative office).

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    Where conflicts related to good scientific practice occur, the Ombudsman assists by means of solution-orientated conflict mediation, following the rules of GRP.

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    The Ombudsman oorganises events on good scientific practice, and regularly gives lectures on its own work (enquiries can be submitted at any time).

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    The Ombudsman networks at national and international level with experts in the sphere of scientific integrity. On the basis of its experience in individual cases, its makes an active contribution towards refining and updating the recommendations on GSP.

The Committee

The Committee of the German Research Ombudsman is appointed by the Senate of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, or DFG). The Committee operates on a voluntary basis. All enquiries are deliberated on jointly, and all assessments are reached jointly. It acts independently when giving advice and in its mediation. The DFG is not involved in the ombuds procedure, nor is it informed of the content of such proceedings.

The term of office of the members of the Ombuds Committee is four years; they can be reappointed for further terms.


Prof. Dr. Eric Steinhauer (Spokesman)

FernUniversität in Hagen

Law and Library Law

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Prof. Dr. Renate Scheibe

University of Osnabrück


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Prof. Dr. Daniela N. Männel

University of Regensburg

Medical Science

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The Office

The office is the first point of contact for questions on research integrity. It initially advises enquirers by telephone if required. In the same way as the Ombudsman Committee, the staff of the Ombudsman’s office also treat all enquiries in strict confidence.

If enquiries are submitted to the office in writing, the office verifies that the documents are complete and forwards them to the members of the Committee. The office may first ask questions in order to clarify the facts put forward, or may ask for supporting documents.

Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft, Geschäftsstelle, Hjördis

Dr. Hjördis Czesnick

Head of Office

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Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft, Geschäftsstelle, Fanny

Fanny Oehme, M.Sc.

Research Integrity Advisor
Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft, Geschäftsstelle, Michaele

Michaele Kahlert, M.A.

Research Integrity Advisor on parental leave, Replacement: Dr. Katrin Frisch

Sophia May, M.A.

Research Integrity Advisor

Lea Melle, B.A.


Antonia Lingens, B.A.

Student Assistant

Discussion Hubs to Foster Research Integrity

The discussion hubs are a research project and develop discussion papers, recommendations, and other publications on current challenges and controversies in GRP. The work of the research associates focuses on three particularly conflict-prone areas of research practice: dealing with authorship conflicts, with research data, and with plagiarism.

Together with ombudspersons and experts from various disciplines and institutions, practicable recommendations are being developed to provide researchers and ombudspersons with orientation and information in cases of conflict. In cooperation with the DFG, the discussion hubs also produce contributions for the online portal "Research Integrity", the so-called third level of the DFG Code of Conduct.
Here you learn more about the Discussion Hubs Project.


Dr. Nele Reeg

Research Associate
Project "Authorship"
(on parental leave until 09/2024)

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Dr. Katrin Frisch

Research Associate
Projects "Research Data" and
"Artifical Intelligence"

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Project "Plagiarism"

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