The University’s expects the highest standards of research integrity from the researchers we support, irrespective of the sources of their funding, their area of research, their experience as researchers, whether they are lone scholars or members of a research team or where the research is to be conducted.
Researchers can expect of the University:
- a strong commitment to research integrity from its senior management;
- clearly stated standards and expectations;
- support to help researchers comply with standards of good research conduct;
- support to develop excellent researchers;
- oversight of the implementation of the Research Misconduct Policy; and
- a robust and fair approach to dealing with allegations of research misconduct.
- 1. Scope of the policy
1.1 Purpose of the Policy
The purpose of this Policy is to set out the standards of research integrity expected by the University from its researchers.
1.2 What is covered by the Policy
This Policy applies to all research undertaken by the individuals covered by this Policy.
1.3 Who is covered by the Policy
All those who conduct research as employees, post graduate research students, independent contractors, consultants, visiting or emeritus members of staff or as members of staff on a joint clinical or honorary contract, irrespective of the sources of their funding, their area of research, their experience as researchers, whether they are lone scholars or members of a research team or where the research is conducted (“Researchers”).
This Policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and may be amended at any time.
1.4 Breach of this Policy
Any breach of this Policy will be addressed in accordance with the Research Misconduct Policy. A serious breach may amount to gross misconduct and could therefore result in summary dismissal.
1.5 Policy Ownership
Research Committee has approved this Policy, the Pro Vice Chancellor Research is the Executive Sponsor and the Associate Pro Vice Chancellor Research Integrity is the Officer responsible for the Policy. Any questions about the operation of this Policy or any concerns that the Policy has not been followed should be referred in the first instance to the Associate Pro Vice Chancellor Research Integrity.
- 2. The policy statement
The aim of this Policy is to ensure that the University maintains the highest standards of research integrity and is based on the following guiding principles.
Guiding Principles of Research Integrity
Researchers are expected to strive for excellence when conducting their research, aiming to design, conduct, produce and disseminate work of the highest quality and ethical standards.
Honesty & Accountability
Researchers must be honest in respect of their own actions and in their responses to the actions of others. This applies to the whole range of research activity including:
- applying for funding;
- experimental and protocol design;
- generating, recording, analysing and interpreting data;
- publishing and exploiting results;
- acknowledging the direct and indirect contributions of colleagues, collaborators and others; and
- reporting cases of suspected misconduct in a responsible and appropriate manner.
Openness & Transparency
Researchers must be open when conducting and communicating their research (subject to the terms and conditions of any research contracts. the protection of intellectual property and commercial exploitation and the University’s IP Policy). This includes:
- the disclosure of any conflicts of interest;
- the reporting of research data collection methods;
- the analysis and interpretation of data;
- making all research findings widely available (including sharing negative results as appropriate);
- disseminating research in a way that will have the widest impact; and
- promoting public engagement/involvement in research.
Researchers must be thorough and meticulous in performing their research. Care must be taken:
- to use the appropriate methods;
- to adhere to an agreed protocol (where appropriate);
- when drawing interpretations and conclusions from the research; and
- when communicating the results.
All research should be conducted in a manner which, so far as is reasonably practicable, is safe for researchers, participants, the University and the environment. Researchers must familiarise themselves, and comply with, the obligations set down by the University in its Health and Safety Policy and Procedures.
Researchers should have respect for all participants in, and subjects of, research including humans, animals, the environment, and cultural objects. The University expects all researchers to consider the ethical implications of their research and to be aware of their responsibilities to society, the environment, their profession, the University, research participants, and the organisation(s) funding the research in accordance with the University Research Ethical Principles and Procedures. Research must not commence until ethics approval, where required, has been received by e-mail from the College REC or University Research Integrity and Ethics Committee (URIEC).
Established researchers are responsible for nurturing researchers of the future, fostering a constructive and supportive environment without undue pressure and ensuring that appropriate supervision, mentoring and training are provided.
Researchers are expected to make themselves aware of, and comply with, any legislation or regulations that govern their research. This may include, but is not limited to:
- General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Act 2018
- University Data Protection Policies and Procedures and Records Management Policy and Procedures;
- The Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004;
- UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research;
- Human Tissue Act 2004 and the University’s Quality Manual for the Acquisition, Storage, Use and Disposal of Human Tissue;
- Health and Safety Policy; and
- IT Security Framework
Researchers should observe the standards of practice set out in guidelines published by professional societies, funding agencies and other relevant bodies, where appropriate and available. They must ensure that they have the necessary skills and training to conduct the research.
Report research misconduct
Researchers should be aware of the extreme seriousness of research misconduct. Staff and students at the University have an obligation to report suspected research misconduct in accordance with the University’s Research Misconduct Policy.
- 3. Relationship to existing policies
This Policy should be used in conjunction with other relevant University policies and documents including:
- Research Ethical Principles and Procedures
- Health and Safety Policy
- Intellectual Property Policy;
- Whistleblowing Policy
- Research Data Management Policy;
- Data Protection Policy and Procedures;
- IT Security Framework; and
- Records Management Policy and Procedures.
Please contact the Research Integrity and Governance Manager or the Office of the General Counsel if any conflict is identified between the University's policies and procedures and any external guidance.
This Policy will be reviewed (typically annually) and revised when required/applicable by the Associate Pro Vice Chancellor, Integrity who will also oversee and review implementation of practices to ensure compliance with this Policy.