6.3 Reporting misconduct in research

Procedures for making and handling allegations of misconduct
  1. A complaint of misconduct in research concerning a University member of staff or registered postgraduate student must be made to the Chair of the Research Strategy, Policy and Performance Committee for an initial assessment of the nature and severity of the allegations.
  2. A complaint of misconduct in research concerning an undergraduate or taught postgraduate student must be reviewed by the Head of Department in the first instance before a decision is made on the most appropriate route for dealing with the complaint. In making their decision, the Head of Department may seek advice from the Chair of the Research Strategy, Policy and Performance Committee or the Academic Registrar.
  3. In the case of a member of staff, the Chair of the Research Strategy, Policy and Performance Committee will contact Human Resources (HR) immediately on receipt of an allegation of misconduct to agree the appropriate process for investigating the allegations.
  4. In the case of a student, the Chair of the Research Strategy, Policy and Performance Committee will contact the Graduate Dean or Head of Department (as appropriate) immediately on receipt of an allegation of misconduct to agree the appropriate process for investigating the allegations.
  5. Where, in the view of the Chair of the Research Strategy, Policy and Performance Committee (in consultation with HR or the Graduate Dean or the Head of Department, as appropriate), it would be appropriate to manage the alleged misconduct informally, this may be done without recourse to the University’s formal procedures.
  6. The non-contractual Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research, published by the UK Research Integrity Office, will normally be used to investigate cases of alleged misconduct in research involving University staff, as recommended by the University’s Discipline (Ordinance Policy). Where there is a potential or actual issue of academic freedom, the procedural modifications (regarding a panel) set out in the University’s Discipline (Ordinance Procedure) will be applied.
  7. Cases of alleged misconduct involving registered students will be dealt with according to the procedures in the relevant Senate regulations.
  8. All enquiries into alleged misconduct (including formal investigation, if any) will be conducted on the basis of confidentiality within the process (wherever possible), as well as of integrity and non-detriment so that no party may suffer solely as a consequence of an allegation made in good faith.
  9. The identity of the individual reporting serious research misconduct will be kept confidential wherever practicable. However, the identity of this individual may be revealed if, for example, it is deemed necessary in order to allow the person accused of misconduct to conduct their defence. If an anonymous complaint is received, the University will decide how to proceed, taking into account the nature and circumstances of the complaint.
  10. A compliant may be made via an intermediary, but that intermediary must act solely as a conduit for the transfer of material between the complainant and the University, and must not seek to interfere with or influence in any way the intent or conduct of the case. Any person who is approached to act as intermediary who is not able to act in this manner should decline the request.
  11. Where there is prima facie evidence that an allegation of research misconduct is made with vexatious or malicious intent, that allegation may be considered as a disciplinary matter. A complainant may be given an opportunity to respond if the allegation is not accepted and if the complainant believes that they have been misunderstood or key evidence overlooked.

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Who to contact

Research Support Services Contact details

Tel - (0116) 252 2437 or (0116) 229 7763

Fax - (0116) 252 2028

E mail - RED@le.ac.uk