Policy

Responsible Conduct of Research - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy sets out the requirements for the responsible conduct of research at the University of Queensland.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Biological materials - includes, but is not limited to, blood, blood products, tissues, body fluids and any derivatives produced by chemical or physical means; micro-organisms – wild type or mutant; plants and plant material as defined by PPL 2.40.02 Biosafety Requirements.

Conflict of Interest - is a situation where an actual, perceived or potential conflict exists as defined by PPL 1.50.11 Conflict of Interest.

Peer Review - impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field.

Research Misconduct - Misconduct/Serious Misconduct as defined by the University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement, specifically in relation to research.

Researchers - Staff, Occupational Trainees, Academic Title Holders, Visiting Academics, Industry Fellows, Honorary and Adjunct Title Holders, Emeritus Professors, and all students of the University who conduct research at or on behalf of the University.

The Code - Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) or any subsequent published revision thereof.

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all researchers of the University who are engaged in research activity.

4. Policy Statement

The University is committed to supporting staff to promote a culture of responsible and ethical conduct of research. This policy describes the principles of the responsible conduct of research at the University and is based on guidelines provided in the Code: this policy should be read in conjunction with the documents cited above, including the Code and the University’s research policies.

Departures from the standards of conduct outlined in this policy may amount to misconduct on the part of the individual researcher.

5. General Principles of Responsible Research

5.1 Researchers have an obligation and a personal responsibility to conduct their research activities in an ethical and professional manner in compliance with the Code, any legislative obligations, and University policies, and in accordance with the professional standards of the relevant discipline.

5.2 Researchers must in all areas of their research demonstrate:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Respect for human research participants, animals and the environment
  • Good stewardship of public resources used to conduct research
  • Appropriate acknowledgement of the role of others in research
  • Responsible communication of research results.

5.3 Researchers should understand the Code and ensure persons under their supervision such as students/trainees are aware of the Code and comply with its obligations.

5.4 Researchers have specific obligations to ensure all ethical and biosafety approvals are obtained. These include:

5.4.1 If research involves human subjects, researchers must obtain written approval from the appropriate Human Research Ethics Committee and comply with ‘National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research’ (NHMRC 20007 or subsequent revision).

5.4.2 Research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must also be conducted in accordance with ’Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research’ (NHMRC 2003 or subsequent revision) and ’Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies‘ (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies 2003 or subsequent revision).

5.4.3 If research involves animals, researchers must obtain written approval from the appropriate Animal Ethics Committee and comply with ‘Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 8th edition’ (NHMRC 2013 or subsequent revision).

5.4.4 Consumer and community participation in research is encouraged and facilitated by the University and must be conducted in accordance with ‘Statement on Consumer and Community Participation in Health and Medical Research’ (NHMRC and Consumers Health Forum of Australia Inc 2002 or subsequent revision).

5.4.5 Researchers conducting work with biological materials must comply with requirements set out in Acts and Regulations listed in PPL 2.40.01 Biosafety.

5.4.6 If research involves any goods, technology or software subject to export controls, researchers must obtain relevant export control permits in accordance with University policy.

5.4.7 Researchers must be aware of and comply with all relevant obligations in project agreements that affect their research projects.

6. Authorship, Publication and Dissemination of Research Findings

6.1 The University promotes and supports an environment of intellectual honesty and accuracy in the publication and dissemination of research findings.

6.2 Researchers are responsible to their colleagues, sponsors, stakeholders and the public to responsibly publish and communicate their complete research findings.

6.3 Researchers must accept responsibility for their actions when carrying out research and when disseminating research findings. Should a researcher become aware of misleading or inaccurate statements in their work, they must correct the record as soon as possible.

6.4 Researchers must take into account any confidentiality requirements or restrictions on culturally sensitive material or intellectual property when publishing their research findings.

6.5 Researchers are required to comply with the obligations set out in the Code, and in authorship and attribution of publications as described in PPL 4.20.04 Authorship.

7. Peer Review

7.1 The University encourages its researchers to participate in the peer review process.

8. Conflict of Interest

8.1 Researchers have an obligation to declare and manage actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest in a transparent manner.

8.2 Conflicts of interest related to research activities should be managed in accordance with the Code, PPL 4.20.02b Responsible Conduct of Research, and PPL 1.50.11 Conflict of Interest, as appropriate.

9. Collaborative Research

9.1 The University supports and promotes collaborative research.

9.2 The University requires that a written agreement be in place for all collaborative research projects. A formal written agreement is required for collaborative projects that include one or more of the following: transfer of funds or assets (including data or confidential information); ownership of intellectual property; commercialisation of intellectual property; confidentiality and copyright; consultancies and/or secondments between the collaborating organisations.

9.3 Where formal overarching agreements governing collaborations and/or joint appointments between the University and another organisation already exist, further agreements will not normally be required.

10. Research Misconduct

10.1 Researchers must comply with the Code and this Policy.

10.2 All concerns about the conduct of research, including potential research misconduct, must be reported as described in PPL 4.20.05b Research Misconduct - Procedures or PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct.

11. Observance of Laws and Other Regulatory Guidelines

11.1 All researchers must comply with all relevant laws, guidelines of regulatory agencies and institutional policies.

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward

Procedures

Responsible Conduct of Research - Procedures

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This procedure details the procedures and responsibilities associated with the responsible conduct of research. This procedure enacts PPL 4.20.02a.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Conflict of Interest - is a situation where an actual, perceived or potential conflict exists as defined by PPL 1.50.11 Conflict of Interest.

Organisational Unit Head – Head of School/Institute Director/or equivalent.

Peer Review - impartial and independent assessment of research by others working in the same or a related field.

Researchers - Staff, Occupational Trainees, Academic Title Holders, Visiting Academics, Industry Fellows, Honorary and Adjunct Title Holders, Emeritus Professors, and all students of the University who conduct research at or on behalf of the University.

Research Misconduct - Misconduct/Serious Misconduct conducted in connection with research as defined by section 5 of the Research Misconduct Policy (PPL 4.20.05a) and in provisions for managing Student Misconduct.

The Code - Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) or any subsequent published revision thereof.

3. Procedures Scope/Coverage

This procedure applies to all University researchers who are engaged in research activity.

4. Procedures Statement

The University considers the responsible conduct of research to be a serious matter. Departures from the standards of conduct outlined in this procedure may amount to misconduct on the part of the individual researcher.

5. General Principles of Responsible Research

5.1 Where research procedures may require approval by a human or animal ethics committee, gene technology and biosafety committee, or by a safety or other validly constituted regulatory committee, research must not proceed without such prior approval. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine what approvals are required and to obtain them.

5.2. Researchers should consult the following in relation to whether their research requires institutional clearance:

5.3 The University and its researchers have a responsibility to the participants in research to ensure the safety of volunteers and staff/students taking part in research programs, and it is an accepted norm in the pursuit of safe research practice that research design and risk assessment is of the highest quality. This includes using the minimum number of humans and animals needed to achieve valid results and using animals in the most humane way possible, for the overall benefit of society.

6. Management of Research Data and Primary Materials

6.1 Data management must be carried out in accordance with PPL 4.20.06 Research Data Management.

7. Supervision of Research Higher Degree Candidates

7.1 Supervision of RHD candidates must be carried out in accordance with PPL 4.60.01 Eligibility and Role of Research Higher Degree Advisors and PPL 4.60.02 Research Higher Degree Candidate Charter.

7.2 All RHD candidates must receive training on research ethics and integrity, the Code, and the University’s research policies prior to confirmation of candidature.

8. Authorship, Publication and Dissemination of Research Findings

8.1 Authorship and attribution of publications should be established as described in PPL 4.20.04b Authorship.

8.2 Researchers must acknowledge source of funding, actual or potential conflicts of interest and ethical approvals in publications as described in PPL 4.20.04b Authorship.

8.3 Financial sponsors must not be permitted to influence the content of publication of research results (other than for commercial-in-confidence and privacy considerations acknowledged and agreed in advance of accepting the funding).

8.4 Researchers must not duplicate the reporting of identical research findings in several different publications, except in particular and clearly explained circumstances, such as review articles, anthologies, collections, or translations into another language. An author who submits substantially similar work to more than one publisher, or who submits work similar to work already published, must disclose this at the time of submission.

Before republishing research findings, researchers are required by law to obtain permission from the copyright holder, which will usually be either the original author or the most recent publisher.

8.5 Researchers must cite the work of other authors appropriately.

8.6 Researchers must register clinical trials with a recognised register.

8.7 Research communications should comply with PPL 1.50.06 Communications and Public Comment using The University of Queensland’s Name.

The following should be noted in relation to communicating research findings in the public arena:

  • Researchers must honour any restrictions on communications that have been agreed with the sponsor and publisher.
  • Research outcomes should not normally be discussed in the public arena until the findings have been tested through peer review. Special care should be taken to explain the status of the project — for example, whether it is still in progress or has been finalised.
  • Researchers should inform those research participants who are directly impacted by the research outcomes before informing the popular media.

9. Peer Review

9.1 Researchers participating in peer review must ensure they;

  • are fair and timely in their review;
  • act in confidence and do not disclose the content or outcome of any process in which they are involved;
  • declare and manage all conflicts of interest;
  • do not take undue or calculated advantage of knowledge obtained during the peer review process;
  • ensure that they are informed about, and comply with, the criteria to be applied; and
  • give proper consideration to research that challenges or changes accepted ways of thinking.

10. Conflict of Interest Disclosures

10.1 Researchers must fully disclose any conflict of interest, or circumstances that might give rise to an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest, as soon as reasonably practicable as per this procedure and, where appropriate,  PPL 1.50.11.

10.2 Applicants for research funding must declare and manage all conflicts of interest in accordance with policy or the processes approved by the relevant body e.g. ARC and NHMRC.

10.3 Researchers must adhere to PPL 4.60.08 RHD Thesis Examination when nominating thesis examiners.

10.4 Research-related conflict of interest disclosures must be handled as follows:

(1) Researchers with a conflict of interest must lodge the Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure form with their supervisor and, where required, with the Research Management Office at the time of grant submission. The supervisor in receipt of the Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure form must discuss the matter with the researcher concerned to determine a procedure for the management or elimination of the conflict of interest. The procedure must be documented and agreed by the Organisational Unit Head and the researcher advised in writing with a copy of the agreement held in the relevant Organisational Unit’s records.

In declaring a conflict of interest, the researcher agrees to: update the disclosure during the entire period of their employment with the University or until such times as the conflict ceases to exist; cooperate in the development of conflict of interest management plans as required; and comply with any conditions or restrictions imposed by the University to manage, reduce, or eliminate an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest.

(2) The researcher must comply with the direction of the person referred to in (1) above in relation to the management of the conflict of interest.

(3) Unless involved directly, it is the responsibility of Organisational Unit Heads to ensure that conflicts of interest in research are managed appropriately.

(4) When an Organisational Unit Head has a conflict of interest in research, their supervisor (where the conflict of interest is with a researcher) or Dean of the Graduate School (where the conflict of interest is with a RHD student) is responsible for recommending to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) appropriate management arrangements.

(5) When an Executive Dean/Graduate School Dean has a conflict of interest in research, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will be responsible for recommending to the Vice-Chancellor or delegated officer appropriate management arrangements.

(6) Where a conflict of interest arises in collaborative research projects, the person identified in clause 11.3 of this procedure should notify the Director, Research Management Office, who will discuss the matter with the relevant collaborating institution and resolve the matter as per the collaborative research agreement.

11. Collaborative Research

11.1 Formal agreements on collaborative research projects with other organisations should be in place before a project begins. Collaborative research agreements are required  for all collaborative research projects that include one or more of the following: financial management; ownership of intellectual property; commercialisation of intellectual property; confidentiality and copyright; management of research findings; ownership of data and equipment; consultancies; secondments; and/or ethics and safety approvals. Other organisations may include other universities or research intensive organisations, the public sector, the Not-for-Profit sector or private businesses. This list is not exhaustive. Other organisations do not include University-affiliated hospitals, institutions and facilities, where the projects are already covered by hospital ethics and governance or other agreements. Researchers who are unsure whether a collaborative research agreement is required are directed to consult their Research Partnerships Manager or Research Management Office for advice (http://www.uq.edu.au/research/research-partnerships/research-collaboration).

11.2 Researchers involved in joint research across organisations should be aware of, and comply with, all policies and written agreements affecting the project, particularly those relating to ethics approvals, the dissemination of research findings and the management of research data and primary materials. They must discuss with their inter-institutional collaborators the policies of each institution regarding these matters.

11.3 The collaborating parties should each identify an authoritative person who is responsible for discussing any actual or apparent conflicts of interest with the other institutions as per clause 10.4 (6) of this procedure.

11.4 The collaborating parties should each identify a designated person to be involved in the management of research data, primary materials and other items to be retained at the end of the project.

12. Research Misconduct

Researchers are obliged to report all concerns about the conduct of research, including potential research misconduct, as per PPL 4.20.05b Research Misconduct - Procedures or PPL 3.60.04 Student Integrity and Misconduct.

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward

Forms

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Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure - Form

Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure - Form

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Description: 

Conflict of Interest (Research) Disclosure form.

Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward
Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward
Custodians
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Professor Robyn Ward