The Universities UK Concordat for Research Integrity (2012) requires of each signatory a short annual report to their governing body, demonstrating how the principles and ethos of integrity are embedded within the governance framework; and compliance with the Concordat is achieved.
This is UCLan’s Annual Statement of Integrity for 2016/17 which will cover i) Policies and Procedures; ii) Training and Development; iii) Research Malpractice/Complaints; and iv) Ongoing Review and Oversight.
Any queries in relation to this report should, in the first instance, be addressed to the author, and first point of contact for Research Integrity, the University Officer for Ethics at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Policies and Procedures
The University has a Code of Conduct for Research, and an Ethical Principles document, both of which are reviewed annually by the Ethics and Integrity team within Research Services. Approval for any amendments is via the University Ethics Committee and final sign off is gained via Academic Board. In relation to research malpractice, it has a Code of Practice for the Investigation of Allegations of Research Malpractice.
Training and Development
The University recognises that the ultimate responsibility for personal and professional development of researchers lies with the individuals themselves, and provides a supportive and training-rich environment with opportunities for engagement. Committees with responsibility for ethics, at Faculty and University level, also engage in reflective practice via case conferencing on previous applications in order to cascade shared learning. The University benefits from membership of Vitae, UKCGE(United Kingdom Council for Graduate Education), and ARMA (Association of Research Managers and Administrators) – the latter of which has recently absorbed AfRE (Association for Research Ethics) –benchmarking all development opportunities against the RDF (Researcher Development Framework)and other sector standards, where appropriate.
Research Malpractice / Complaints
The University has a Code of Practice for the Investigation of Allegations of Research Malpractice. This is reviewed biennially, and is currently going through that process, reporting to Academic Board in October 2018. Any suspected incidences of malpractice are required to be notified to the University Officer for Ethics, as detailed in the document. All reported instances are investigated according to the procedure within the Code, and findings recorded. Where research misconduct as opposed research malpractice is identified, there is the potential to invoke the HR Disciplinary Procedure.
Number of Reported Allegations of Research Misconduct 2016-2017 (Sep 16 – Aug 17)
During the period September 2016 to August 2017, there were no reported instances of allegations of research malpractice registered with the University Officer for Ethics.
Ongoing Review and Oversight
The University will maintain oversight of the conduct of researchers through the governance framework as referenced above and illustrated below, supported by the ongoing provision of a comprehensive and current professional development programme.