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Annual Statement on Research Integrity 2019/20

The University of Chester is committed to fulfilling the principles of the Concordat to Support Research Integrity to create a framework for responsible research conduct and governance. In compliance with the Concordat, the University is publishing a statement on Research Integrity on an annual basis. This Research Integrity statement covers the period from 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2020.

Promotion of Research Integrity:

As part of the University’s ongoing drive to support high quality institutional research and to meet the requirements of the Concordat, the University have set up a Research Integrity Sub-Group (reporting to the Research Ethics Advisory Board) to review compliance and identify actions needed to fulfil the requirements of the Concordat. The Group meet at least once a term and will continue to do so until all actions have been completed. In addition to this we have also subscribed to the Research Integrity on-line training programme provided by Epigeum which is available to all staff (in particular PGR Supervisors and Principal Investigators on external funding applications) and research students.

Named Person in accordance with the Concordat

 The Named Person in accordance with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity during the period of this review was Prof Nick Avis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Knowledge Transfer). The current contact is Prof Neville Ford, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) njford@chester.ac.uk

Research Misconduct 

Responsibility for monitoring cases of research misconduct in relation to staff and PGR students lies with the Research and Knowledge Transfer Office (RKTO) who also publish the Research Governance Handbook.

Allegations of research misconduct are dealt with according to the UKRIO Misconduct Investigation Procedure.  Occasionally RKTO also receives enquiries – about procedural matters or policies – which do not always lead on to allegations and investigation.  Enquirers are reassured that the first stages of the procedure are informal resolution and screening, and thus where there are concerns, the appropriate step is to submit their concern according to the procedure.  Cases arising from the conduct of students on taught programmes fall under the remit of the academic integrity procedures (see Handbook F governing the assessment of students).

Named Person in relation to the UKRIO Misconduct Investigation Procedure

The Named Person in relation to the UKRIO Misconduct Investigation Procedure is Ian Britton (Head of Academic Quality and Standards) i.britton@chester.ac.uk (or, in their absence or where there may be a conflict of interest a Faculty Dean will be appointed by the Senior Executive Team).  Queries or concerns about research integrity and/or misconduct may also be made through the Research & Knowledge Transfer Office (who will liaise with the appropriate Named Person where appropriate) to:

Dr Elizabeth Christopher (Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer) e.christopher@chester.ac.uk

or Marie-Anne O’Neil (Deputy Head of RKTO) m.oneil@chester.ac.uk

Summary of investigations of research misconduct

The table below sets out the broad categories of queries, investigations and findings in relation to research misconduct procedures in the previous 3 academic years, covering both staff and postgraduate research (PGR) students.

 

No. of enquiries not leading to an allegation or resolved via the informal resolution/screening process No. of allegations for which an investigation has been undertaken

Number of allegations upheld

(in whole or in part)

 

2017/

2018

2018/

2019

2019/

2020

2017/

2018

2018/

2019

2019/

2020

2017/

2018

2018/

2019

2019/

2020

Research without appropriate ethical approval

1

1

-

0

1

-

-

0

-

Misrepresentation of authorship

-

1

-

-

1

-

-

0

-

Commissioning - - - - 1 - - 0 -
Plagiarism - - - - 2 - - - 2
Reuse of material previously submitted for an academic award - - - - 1 - - - 0

Public Interest Disclosure Policy (“Whistleblowing”)

Members of the University or public wishing to ‘blow the whistle’ on suspected malpractice or impropriety should contact the Vice-Chancellor, though they may if they wish contact directly the Chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee or the University’s internal auditors (RSM). Their contact details are:

President of the University Council
 
  Jeff Turnbull
 
CouncilPresident@chester.ac.uk
  

Vice-Chancellor

 

Professor Eunice Simmons

01244-513455
e.simmons@chester.ac.uk

University Secretary & Secretary to the University Council  

  Adrian Lee

01244-511454
adrian.lee@chester.ac.uk

Internal Auditor (RSM)

 

Lisa Randall

0844 8797340
lisa.randall@rsmuk.com

Chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee  

Cathy Bond

c.bond@chester.ac.uk
 

 

Statement prepared by: Dr Elizabeth Christopher (Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer)
August 2020