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 2020.

Summary of actions and activities undertaken to support research integrity

Update of the Aston University Research Integrity Code of Conduct  

The Code was updated in 2019 and reviewed in 2020 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  
Human tissue research is conducted in accordance with the Aston University Quality Manual: Acquisition, Storage, Use and Disposal of Human Tissue. 
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  
All policies, procedures and documentation relating to ensuring Research Integrity are checked and have been updated to ensure compliance with the GDPR and associated Data Protection Act (2018).  
Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Standards Compliance  
GCP is mandatory for researchers undertaking clinical research.  
Completion of the MRC’s “Research and Human Tissue Legislation” online training and associated assessment module is a mandatory requirement for all researchers working with human tissue. New on-line and face to face training on Trusted Research was developed and conducted.
AURIO has Research Integrity drop-in sessions for staff and students.  

Statement on formal research misconduct investigations 
No formal research misconduct investigation was undertaken during 2020.