Annual Research Integrity Statement 2019


The Concordat to Support Research Integrity recommends that institutions should make an annual statement on research integrity, which is publicly available. Aston University is committed to the highest standards of research integrity and compliance with the Concordat. In accordance with the recommendation that an annual statement on research integrity is made this statement provides details of activities undertaken to enhance research integrity within the University during 2019.

Summary of actions and activities undertaken to support research integrity

Update of the Aston University Research Integrity Code of Conduct
The Code was updated to ensure its currency in terms of legislation and regulation and the updated Code was approved by the University Research Committee.

University Research Ethics Committees
The University is redeveloping its research committee infrastructure based on the findings of its commissioned external review in 2018, including the development of a new research ethics and governance portal.

Research with Human Tissue
Minor revisions to the Aston University Quality Manual: Acquisition, Storage, Use and Disposal of Human Tissue were made to reflect new and updated facilities for work with human tissue; and improvements to the administrative processes for registration of projects.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
All policies, procedures and documentation relating to ensuring Research Integrity are checked to ensure compliance with the GDPR and associated Data Protection Act (2018).

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Standards Compliance
Aston continues to GCP is monitored by ethics committees for each submitted project involving Aston staff and students.

Completion of the MRC’s “Research and Human Tissue Legislation” online training and associated assessment module has been made a mandatory requirement for all researchers working with human tissue. AURIO has introduced monthly Research Integrity drop-in sessions for staff and students. These have been well received by colleagues in all schools.

Statement on formal research misconduct investigations
One formal research misconduct investigation was undertaken during 2019 which concluded no breach had occurred.