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Effectively Handling Allegations and Investigations of Research Misconduct

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The increase in the number of researchers, growing pressure to publish, and the competition for research funding over the past decade, has put pressure on the academic research community.

Although serious cases of research misconduct by members of academic staff are relatively few in Australian universities, where they occur they have the potential to impact not only the career of the particular staff member, but also to negatively impact the university in reputational and financial terms. International reports indicate that the requirement to deal with allegations or actual incidences of research misconduct is increasing.

Research in Australian universities is governed by the voluntary Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research, which sets out processes for managing breaches of the Code or allegations of research misconduct. It further explains the responsibilities and rights of researchers if they witness research misconduct.

These provisions necessarily interact with those in Australian university enterprise agreements dealing with academic misconduct. As well, most States require that research misconduct allegations be reported to integrity or anti-corruption bodies, the Ombudsman or are made under whistleblower legislation which requires the protection of the identity of the complainant. These state agencies may require the university to conduct an initial investigation of the allegations.

The Australian Code requires the appointment of Research Integrity Advisors to advise staff on potential cases or concerns. The Research Integrity Advisor therefore has a key role in the process. Effective early complaint handling may have an impact on the final outcome of the investigation.

Learning outcomes

Participants attending the program will benefit by increasing their understanding of:

  • The requirements of the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research and other disciplinary or misconduct provisions
  • Interactions between procedures the Code and disciplinary procedures set out in university enterprise agreements
  • The roles and powers of State and Territory integrity or anti-corruption bodies
  • Best practice in the initial handling of concerns about allegations of research misconduct
  • Best practice in the conduct of research misconduct allegations
  • Institutional risk and reputation perspective of research misconduct issues

Who should attend?

  • Senior academic and/or research leaders, particularly Research Directors, Researchers Managers, Head of Research, Lead Researcher.
  • Research integrity advisors, legal officers, human resources officers, research ethics officers, industrial relations consultants/advisers/managers.

Program content

Please view the program for this session here.

Facilitators

  • Mr Stuart Andrews, Executive Director, AHEIA
  • Ms Liz Baré, Honorary Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute

Perth

  • Professor Robyn Owens, Deputy VIce-Chancellor (Research), University of Western Australia
  • Dr Mark Dixon Associate Director, Research Integrity, University of Western Australia

Dates and Locations

20 August 2015, Fraser Suites, Perth

Program fee

UA$900 inc. GST

Registration

Please click 'Register' on this page.

More information

Please contact Melissa Hendicott or call +61 3 9035 6429 if you require further information.

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