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Policy on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship

Classification number LCG 1125
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International
Approval date June 2013
Review date To be assigned

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy and its related Procedure is to set out the standards, requirements and responsibilities that apply to the responsible conduct of research and scholarship at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (the “University”).  

Policy

The University is committed to providing a positive research environment that supports and promotes the highest scientific and ethical standards through the responsible conduct of research, including obligations of honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, accountability, commitment to the dissemination of knowledge, and adherence to the use of professional standards.

All research activities performed under the auspices of the University, whether funded or unfunded, shall be conducted with the highest ethical and professional standards, within the framework of current collective agreements, and with adherence to all University policies and procedures.  To this end, the University, through the Vice-President Research, Innovation and International, will coordinate efforts to ensure that the appropriate responsible conduct of research framework is in place and in compliance with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research, administered by the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research, the Tri-Agency Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, and all other applicable standards, laws and regulations. 

  1. Researcher Responsibilities

    Researchers, in their commitment to advance and disseminate knowledge, shall strive to follow the best research practices, through honest and thoughtful inquiry, rigorous analysis, and adherence to professional standards.  Further, Researchers recognize the responsibility that comes with academic freedom, which includes the responsibility to ensure that all research meets high scientific and ethical standards.   At a minimum, researchers shall be responsible for the following:

    • Adhering to the requirements of University policies and procedures, current collective agreements and ethical, professional or disciplinary standards, and complying with all Agency and/or Sponsor policies and guidelines, and applicable laws and regulations.

    • Using a high level of rigour in proposing and executing research.

    • Accurately recording, analyzing, and interpreting data in a manner that allows verification or replication of work by others; and reporting and publishing data and findings.

    • Appropriately referencing and acknowledging respective contributions, with consent, for all published or unpublished work, or conceptual contributions to research, including authors, funders, and sponsors, in a manner consistent with applicable University and authorship policies.

    • Reporting any real, potential, or perceived conflict of interest in accordance with the University's Policy on Conflicts of Interest in Research.

    • Providing true, complete, and accurate information in funding applications, reports, and related documents and representing themselves, their research, and their accomplishments in a manner consistent with the norms of the relevant research discipline.

    • Using grant or award funds in accordance with the policies of the Agencies and/or Sponsor, including, when applicable, the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, and complying with all applicable Agency and/or Sponsor policies and requirements for the conduct of research and the administration of awarded funds.

    • Ensuring that all principal applicants listed on the funding application have agreed to be included.

    • Educating research trainees and staff in the rationale for and application of this policy, and for ensuring that research and research training activities carried out under their supervision are in compliance with this policy.

  2. University Responsibilities

    The University shall provide a positive research environment that supports the values of academic freedom and enables researchers to uphold high ethical, scientific and professional standards in their commitment to advance and disseminate knowledge. At a minimum, the University, subject to any applicable legislation, including privacy legislation, shall be responsible for the following:

    • Adhering to the Tri-Agency Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.

    • Establishing and applying a responsible research conduct policy and procedure.

    • Promoting and creating awareness of the importance of the responsible conduct of research. 

    • Communicating within the University the current policy, procedures and central point of contact (Office of Vice-President Research, Innovation and International) on responsible conduct of research and communicating publicly the annual reports on statistics for confirmed findings of breaches of the policy and actions taken, subject to applicable laws.

    • Disclosing to the relevant Sponsor and/or Agency, in a timely manner, of any allegation of Research Misconduct related to activities funded by the Sponsor and/or Agency that may involve significant financial, health and safety, or other risks.

    • Reporting to the relevant Sponsor and/or Agency, in writing, a decision to initiate an Investigation of Research Misconduct and providing the Sponsor and/or Agency with a written report outlining the conclusions and actions taken, if any, resulting from an Investigation of Misconduct.

  3. Research Misconduct

    1. No researcher shall engage in Research Misconduct as defined in this Policy. 

    2. Any individual that has reasonable grounds to believe that Research Misconduct has or is occurring at the University, or at an Affiliated Institution, shall immediately report the matter to the Vice-President, Research, Innovation, and International as outlined in the Procedure on Responsible Conduct of Research.

    3. Allegations of Research Misconduct will be taken seriously by the University. The submission of allegations of Research Misconduct and the inquiry and investigation of such allegations shall be undertaken in accordance with the Procedure on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship or, when applicable, collective agreements and relevant academic conduct policies and procedures. No individual shall make an allegation of Research Misconduct that is not in good faith. All members of the University shall cooperate in any inquiry or investigation related to Research Misconduct.

    4. The University will not threaten to or actually retaliate or discriminate, and will not permit any threat of or actual retaliation or discrimination against any individual making an allegation, in good faith, under this Policy.

    5. The University shall take all reasonable measures to ensure that the standing of a member of the University, who is not directly implicated, but is directly affected by an allegation of Research Misconduct, is not prejudiced by such an allegation, by any subsequent investigation, or by any administrative action(s) and/or disciplinary proceedings that may be instituted as a result of the Research Misconduct.

    6. Allegations received by anonymous parties will not be reviewed under this Policy or associated procedure.

Scope and Authority

This policy applies to all individuals,  or groups affiliated with the University, conducting research and scholarly activities at the University (Researchers).

Researchers are responsible for conducting research and scholarly activities in compliance with this Policy and associated Procedure.

The Vice-President Research, Innovation and International, working in collaboration with the senior administrative team and Deans, is responsible for ensuring that the University’s responsibilities in this area are met, that an appropriate responsible conduct of research framework is in place, and that all activities are conducted appropriately and in accordance with University Policy and Procedures, and applicable guidelines, laws, and regulations. 

Definitions

Agency” means the funding agency, foundation, organization, sponsor or other entity, public or private, international, national or provincial, which supports the research in whole or in part, or which has oversight of any research activities.

 “Researcher” means a member of the University conducting research (whether funded or unfunded), including but not limited to faculty members, undergraduate students taking part in research, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technical staff, adjunct professors, visiting professors or researchers, and other personnel involved directly or indirectly in the research including administrators and officials representing the University. 

“Research Misconduct” means, any conduct that constitutes a significant departure from the standards that are commonly accepted within the academic community and within the relevant research discipline. Research misconduct includes, but is not limited to the definitions of the Agency for such misconduct. Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to: fabrication of data, destruction of research records, falsification, plagiarism, redundant publications, misappropriation of intellectual property rights of another, failure to report a conflict of interest, misrepresentation in an Agency application or related document, failure to comply with relevant legislation as well as relevant University policies, or failure to meet other legal requirements that relate to the conduct of research including the intentional misuse of funds designated for research purposes.   

Regulatory Requirements Involving Responsible Conduct of Research

All research activities shall adhere to the requirements of this policy and associate procedure, as well as the most current Sponsor and/or Agency requirements and legislation for the responsible conduct of research, including, but not limited to:

  • 2nd edition of Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2);

  • Canadian Council on Animal Care Policies and Guidelines;

  • Agency policies related to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;

  • Licenses for research in the field;

  • Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines;

  • Controlled Goods Program;

  • Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) Regulations;

  • The Canadian Food and Drugs Act;  

  • Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide;

  • Agency grants and award guides;

  • The Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research;

  • The Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institution.

  • Other applicable regulations or Agency/Sponsor requirements. 

Related Documents

  • Procedures on the Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship; 

  • Conflict of Interest in Research;

  • Intellectual Property;

  • Research Entities, Procedures for the Establishment of;

  • Research Ethics Policy;

  • Policy on the Care and Use of Animals in Research and Teaching

  • Radiation Safety Manual;

  • Biosafety Manual;

  • Current Collective Agreements;

  • Undergraduate Student Calendar;

  • Graduate Students Calendar;

  • Other applicable documents.