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    Policy for Dealing with Allegations of Misconduct in Research

    发布时间:2019-10-29 来源:www.boshuolunwen123.com  作者:博硕论文辅导网

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    THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL
    Policy for Dealing with Allegations of Misconduct in Research
    1. GENERAL
    1.1.This Policy outlines the procedure to be followed when there is an allegation of misconduct in research about any member of staff or student of the University or against any person who is authorised to undertake research in the University or to use University facilities (this includes honorary members of staff).
    1.2.The procedure outlined in this Policy will be instigated if an allegation of misconduct in research (referred to in this document as a “complaint”) is raised by a member of the University, a third party involved in or evaluating the research activity, a research subject or a member of the public. Complaints may also be raised by third party bodies such as partner organisations, funding councils or professional bodies.
    1.3.The University of Liverpool will be responsible for investigating any complaint of research misconduct made against any of its staff or students, irrespective of who is funding or sponsoring the research in question (other than in exceptional cases where, for example, a student is also a member of staff of another organisation which will undertake its own investigation). However, where a funding body or other third party organisation, including an NHS Trust, has an interest in an investigation, the University reserves the right to amend or alter this Policy to ensure that it is able to comply with any requirements placed upon it by the funder or other third party investigation. Any amendment will be notified to all concerned.
    Where it is appropriate to do so, the University may notify and liaise with that third party in relation to any investigation under this Policy, and, where it is appropriate, may devolve responsibility for any investigation (in part or whole)  of misconduct to a third party body (for example a regulatory council or a professional body).
    1.4.This Policy is designed to be used in its entirety prior to any use of the University’s standard disciplinary processes. If, at the end of the investigation under this Policy, misconduct in research has been found to have occurred, the procedures contained within this Policy may form the investigatory element of any disciplinary or capability process under the University’s relevant policy. 

    Once initiated, the Policy should normally progress to the natural end-point irrespective of:
    a)the Complainant withdrawing the complaint at any stage;
    b)the Respondent admitting, or having admitted, the alleged misconduct, in full or in part; or,
    c)the Respondent or the Complainant resigning, or having already resigned, their post.

    2.THE UNIVERSITY’S EXPECTATIONS REGARDING GOOD RESEARCH CONDUCT
    2.1.The University expects all members of staff and students of the University and other persons authorised to undertake research in the University or to use University facilities to observe the highest standards of professional behaviour in proposing, conducting and publishing research.
    2.2.It is the responsibility of all those undertaking research to be aware of their commitments and of the expectations of the University, such as those outlined in the relevant University policies.

    3.DEFINITION OF MISCONDUCT IN RESEARCH
    3.1.Misconduct in research may result from one, or a combination, of the following:
    Fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or deception in proposing, carrying out or reporting results of research;
    Fraud (including the invention of data or the misuse of research funds, equipment or premises);
    Publication of data known or reasonably believed to be false or misleading;
    Failure to give appropriate recognition to others involved in research activity;
    Deliberate, reckless or negligent deviation from current accepted practice in carrying out research;
    Failure to acquire the required favourable opinion from the appropriate Ethics Committee for research;
    Failure to follow any protocols contained in ethical consent that has been given for the research;
    Failure to meet any legal requirements as set down in legislation including but not limited to the Human Tissues Act (2004), Data Protection Act (1998), Clinical Trials Regulations and Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act (1986); Freedom of Information Act (2000) and Anti-Bribery Act (2011).
    Failure to meet the requirements of a relevant University Policy;
    Failure to follow any protocols set out in the guidelines of appropriate recognised professional, academic, scientific and governmental bodies;
    Failure to follow any procedures that avoid unreasonable risk or harm to humans, animals or the environment;
    Facilitating misconduct in research by collusion in, or concealment of, such actions by others;
    Any plan, conspiracy or attempt to commit research-related misconduct, or any incitement to do so.
    Failure to obtain appropriate permission to conduct research
    Unethical behaviour in the conduct of research including, but not limited to, unethical behaviour in relation to research subjects
    Failure of a member of staff or student to report an incident which has given rise to a reasonable suspicion of research misconduct.
    3.2.Misconduct in research will not normally include honest and reasonable error or honest and reasonable differences of interpretation or of judgement in the collection, evaluation or reporting of research results.

    4.REPORTING SUSPECTED MISCONDUCT IN RESEARCH
    4.1.All staff and students, including those holding honorary contracts, and individuals authorised to conduct research in the University have a responsibility to report to the University, in confidence, any suspected incident of misconduct in research, whether this has been witnessed or for which there are reasonable grounds for suspicion. Failure by a member of staff or student to report research misconduct may constitute the withholding of information and may, in some circumstances, invoke relevant disciplinary procedures.
    4.2.Suspected research misconduct should be reported in writing to the PVC for Research.   A complaint should be made in good faith and accompanied by any supporting evidence available to the Complainant. The Complainant should not discuss the details of the complaint with any third party outside of the processes defined by the Policy.
    4.3.Staff or students who have concerns about potential research misconduct should feel able to discuss their concerns with senior members of the academic staff before making a formal complaint. In these circumstances, staff or students must be careful to preserve the confidentiality of all concerned parties.
    4.4.An investigation into a complaint of misconduct in research can only be authorised by the EPVC for the Faculty or the PVC for Research.
    4.5.Where a complaint of research misconduct has been made other than to those identified at 4.2, the recipient of that complaint must take responsibility for informing them.
    4.6.If a complaint is made anonymously, the PVC for Research, in discussion with the EPVC for the Faculty, will determine how it should be investigated in close adherence to this Policy.
    4.7.The procedure outlined in this Policy is designed to provide a means to facilitate full exploration of potentially complex matters in research that can arise in situations where misconduct may have taken place. It is intended to allow the full and fair investigation of research-related issues, using an expert panel to investigate the matters raised, and to reach a conclusion on any complaints prior to considering any disciplinary or other non-disciplinary steps that might be required or recommended.
    5. INITIAL ASSESSMENT / RECEIPT OF COMPLAINT (PRE-SCREENING STAGE)
    The PVC for Research, or his/her nominated representative will:
    determine whether there is a case to answer and, where appropriate, dismiss the complaint
    determine whether the complaint appears to fit within the definition of research misconduct
    redirect the complaint to be dealt with through an alternative policy
    assess the risks detailed in the complaint - if there is a prima facie case that there is a risk of harm to humans, animals or the environment, or if continuation of the research would be in breach of the law or cause serious damage to the University’s reputation, then the PVC for Research in conjunction with the EPVC for the Faculty will take immediate appropriate action to ensure that any potential danger/illegal activity/risk is prevented or eliminated and the research will be suspended immediately. It will be made clear to the Respondent that such actions are not to be regarded as disciplinary action and will not, in themselves, indicate that a complaint is held to be true. The PVC for Research in conjunction with the EPVC of the Faculty will liaise with the Director of Human Resources to determine whether suspension from duty is appropriate in the circumstances (for the avoidance of doubt this course of action may be invoked at any stage in the process)
    In conjunction with the EPVC for the Faculty, appoint a Screening Panel
    In circumstances where it is deemed appropriate, appoint an Investigatory Panel without invoking the Screening Panel stage
    6.SCREENING PANEL STAGE
    6.1.The Screening Panel shall comprise at least 2 individuals identified by the PVC for Research in conjunction with the EPVC for the Faculty. The members of the Screening Panel need not be members of the Faculty in which the complaint has arisen but should possess the necessary knowledge, experience and expertise to form a reasoned judgement on the matters raised in the complaint. Members of the Screening Panel must declare any potential conflicts of interest. 
    6.2.The Screening Panel will conduct a preliminary evaluation of the available evidence. 
    6.3.Where complaints of research misconduct have been raised with the University’s Holder of the Home Office Certificate of Designation (Animal Welfare), the Certificate Holder, or his/her nominee, will undertake the pre-screening.
    6.4.The screeners will assess whether the alleged research misconduct could potentially:
    a)Harm staff, participants and other persons;
    b)Cause suffering to animals;
    c)Cause harm to the environment;
    d)Contravene the law;
    e)Cause serious damage to the University (reputational or financial).

    6.5.The Screening Panel shall:
    Consider the evidence before it and invite the complainant to clarify any matters that the Screening Panel considers necessary and relevant
    Consider the Respondent’s response and seek further clarification if required.
    6.6.In order to make its judgement, the Screening Panel may request additional information as necessary. In exceptional cases that are particularly complex, it may be necessary to interview the Respondent, the Complainant and other staff/witnesses who might provide relevant information to assist the Screening Panel. If a third party, such as an NHS Trust, has already undertaken an investigation, or is in the process of doing so, the Screening Panel should seek information from that body.

    6.7.The members of the Screening Panel shall decide upon one of the following outcomes, and will report their findings, in writing, to the PVC for Research and the EPVC for the Faculty, normally within 20 days of appointment:
    a)The complaint is unfounded because it is mistaken, frivolous or vexatious or is otherwise without substance
    b)The complaint is malicious
    c)There is insufficient evidence to constitute a prima facie case. 
    d)There is some substance in the complaint but that the matter does not warrant a formal investigation, in which event they may recommend a course of action to put the matter right
    e)There is sufficient substance to the complaint to recommend a formal investigation
    f)The complaint should be dealt with under another policy
    6.8.If the complaint is dismissed, all interested parties aware of the complaint will be notified as quickly as possible. This would normally include the Respondent, the Complainant (if applicable), the EPVC for the Faculty, the Chair of Research Governance Committee, the funding body and other external parties, such as NHS Trusts as appropriate. The interests of the Respondent will be protected as far as possible.
    6.9.If a formal investigation is initiated and an Investigatory Panel convened all interested parties aware of the complaint will be notified as quickly as possible.
    6.10.All relevant information from the Screening Panel must be passed to the Investigatory Panel.
    7.FORMAL INVESTIGATION (INVESTIGATORY PANEL)

    7.1.The PVC for Research and EPVC for the Faculty will select three appropriate members of academic staff with relevant research experience to act as an Investigatory Panel, one of whom will be designated as chairman. The Panel may include members external to the University. It must include academic specialists in the general area within which the misconduct is alleged to have taken place.  Members of the Investigatory Panel must declare any potential conflicts of interest.  The PVC for Research or EPVC for the Faculty may choose to be members of the Investigatory Panel. 
    7.2.Where a complaint involves a member of staff, a Human Resources Manager should be in attendance at any meetings of the Investigatory Panel to ensure that the Policy is adhered to, any regulations are interpreted appropriately and a record of any proceedings or discussions is maintained. The Human Resources Manager will not be a member of the panel. 
    7.3.The process of appointing the Investigatory Panel should normally be completed within 10 working days of receipt of the report from the Screening Panel.
    7.4.The Respondent and Complainant will be informed of the names of the Investigatory Panel as soon as possible after their appointment and given 5 working days to identify, in writing, any concerns regarding their appropriateness. The PVC / EPVC for the Faculty will decide whether any changes to the Investigatory Panel are necessary.
    7.5.The purpose of the Investigatory Panel is to determine whether research misconduct has been committed and the nature and extent of the misconduct.
    7.6.The contractual status of the Respondent and the contractual details specific to the research project(s) related to the complaint will be checked. This will determine whether the University of Liverpool is the appropriate body to investigate the case or whether another organisation, such as the Respondent’s current/ primary employer, should be the investigating body. The EPVC will also determine whether other organisations, such as the Respondent’s current/primary employer, should be notified of the complaint and at what stages of the procedure.

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