Key Principles and Responsibilities

Key Principles

The University is committed to operating on the following principles while investigating allegations of research misconduct:

  • Misconduct in research is a serious matter.
  • Investigation of allegations of misconduct in research will be conducted in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, accuracy and fairness.
  • The University wishes to enable all stakeholders (including funders, sponsors, regulators, staff, scientific publishers, students, research participants and patients) to have confidence that high standards of research integrity are upheld by the University at all times, and that allegations of research misconduct are treated seriously and investigated as confidentially as is reasonably practicable.
  • The University will ensure that those responsible for carrying out investigations of alleged misconduct in research will act with integrity and sensitivity at all times.
  • The University will ensure that investigators of such cases will conform to the statutory obligations of the University and the rights of the employees according to current law along with any rights and obligations bestowed to employees by its ordinances and statutes.
  • Anyone accused of misconduct in research is entitled to the presumption of innocence.
  • It is acknowledged that allegations may be made for what appears to be malicious reasons.
  • Where anyone is formally accused of misconduct in research, that person will be given full details of the allegations in writing, and will be given the opportunity to set out his/her case and respond to the allegations against him/her.
  • The University is committed to protecting the reputation of those suspected of, or alleged to have engaged in, misconduct, when the allegations or suspicions are not confirmed.
  • Staff undertaking research will be able to exercise their right to academic freedom under the University Statutes, but must also take responsibility in ensuring that the integrity of research is upheld, and that they are aware of the legal requirements that regulate their work.
  • All employees and students and any individuals authorised to work in the University, its facilities or otherwise undertaking research on behalf of the University, are obliged and have a responsibility to report to the University any concerns about potential research misconduct, whether witnessed, or where there is reasonable belief that this is, has, or is likely to occur.
  • Employees and students who raise such concerns in line with this policy will not be penalised or suffer detriment by the University for doing so, provided that they do so in confidence and reasonably believe that potential research misconduct is, has or is likely to occur.
  • The basis for reaching a conclusion that an individual is responsible for misconduct in research relies on a judgment that there was an intention to commit the misconduct and/or negligence in the conduct of any aspect of research undertaken and that the burden of proof required is that of ‘on the balance of probabilities.’
  • Where appropriate, issues may be resolved through informal discussions, advice, guidance, or agreed mediation, without the requirement for a formal investigation.