Rotterdam dilemma game

What is this about?

The Rotterdam dilemma game is an engaging tool for raising awareness of research integrity and professionalism among researchers in different stages of their careers. It was developed as an initiative of the Erasmus University Rotterdam Taskforce on Scientific Integrity. Through various cases in which research requirements conflict with moral principles, it presents a great learning approach, initiates discussion and can help as guidance for finding the right path on the journey of research and moral dilemmas.

Why is this important?

Being a researcher, sooner or later in your career you may be faced with research or job requirements and dilemmas that may interfere with your personal moral compass. The best way to meet this challenge is to be educated on research integrity and research ethics. As an interactive tool and addition to education, the Rotterdam dilemma game can be used as an exercise for considering and dealing with different research integrity issues. The game includes various themes, e.g. authorship, publications, mentoring Ph.D. students, data processing and data analysis. It doesn’t matter if you are a senior researcher or a Ph.D. student, the dilemma game can help you to reflect on moral issues in research (1). By presenting various dilemma scenarios (75 of them), the “players” engage in discussion which enables them to choose and defend their position in different situations. Through its design, it aims to trigger the reconsideration of opinions and possible actions.

For whom is this important?

Students, PhD Students, Researchers, Junior researchers, Research integrity trainers

What are the best practices?

The Taskforce Scientific Integrity from the Erasmus University Rotterdam has made several recommendations on implementing the dilemma game at their university. One of the recommendations is that the game is used as a part of PhD training, as well as a faculty training session on research integrity (2). The dilemma game has also found its utility beyond the home institution and it’s used as an exercise in research integrity seminars provided by University College London. Moreover, the PRINTEGER project has listed the dilemma game as one of the learning modules on their platform. As an interactive and educational exercise, the dilemma game is used in the training session for future research integrity trainers at the Horizon 2020 VIRT2UE project.


The dilemma game can now also be downloaded as an application on Android devices and iOS. The app has three modes: individual, group and lecture mode, allowing users to interact with the dilemma's in a variety of ways.


1. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Dilemma Game. Accessed May 24 2019. Available at:

2. Erasmus University Rotterdam Taskforce Scientific Integrity. Fostering professionalism and integrity in research. 2013. Accessed May 24 2019. Available at: