Policy Research Integrity Advisor Procedure

Research Integrity Advisor Procedure


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Intent

The James Cook University (JCU) Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Research Code) and the Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the JCU Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research Procedure, outlines the important role of Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) in the promotion and fostering of the responsible conduct of research at the University. This Procedure explains the responsibilities of the RIA in their assistance to complainants and JCU’s obligations in the appointment of RIAs.

Scope

The Procedure applies to the duties, appointment and selection of RIAs at JCU.

Definitions

Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs) are persons appointed by the University to promote the responsible conduct of research and provide advice to those with concerns about potential breaches of the Research Code. The RIA must not advise on matters where they have a potential, perceived or an actual conflict of interest.

Research Code means the James Cook University (JCU) Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

Introduction

JCU has a responsibility to identify and train RIAs who will assist the University to maintain the highest standard of research conduct and integrity. The RIAs play an important role in their College/Institute in advising researchers on matters of research conduct. RIAs should be the first point of contact for researchers with any concerns or complaints regarding a potential breach of the Research Code.

Procedure

1.  Skills

An RIA must have research experience, analytical skills, empathy, good communication skills and knowledge of the Research Code and JCU processes. The RIA must also have a familiarity with accepted practices in research.

2.  Role

The RIA is the first point of contact for those seeking advice about the responsible conduct of research and JCU procedures and processes for dealing with any allegation of a potential breach of the Research Code.

The RIA will discuss the matter with the complainant and provide advice on avenues to address the issue.

This advice may include:

  • Not proceeding with the complaint if is clearly not related to a breach of the Research Code;
  • Proceeding under other institutional processes;
  • Making a formal written complaint about a potential breach of the Research Code to the Designated Officer through the Research Integrity Office in JCU Connect.

The RIA’s role must not extend to an investigation or assessment of a complaint, including any contact with the person who is the subject of the complaint and the RIA must not be involved in any investigation regarding the complaint.

The RIA must not advise on matters where they have a potential, perceived or actual conflict of interest. In this case, with the complainant’s consent, the RIA may refer the matter to another RIA or other appropriate person such as the complainant’s Supervisor, Associate Dean of Research or Dean of College.

3.  Appointment

Each College and Institute/Centre** must appoint an RIA to advise researchers on the Research Code and its Procedures. Deans/Directors must ensure that an RIA possesses the skills required for the role as outlined in 1 above through the selection process. The RIA may be appointed for a maximum of 3 years. JCU’s Research Committee must be advised when an RIA is appointed.

4.  Training

RIAs must undertake training in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 and Managing and Investigating Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 as provided by JCU. It is expected that RIAs will engage in outreach and educational activities for their Colleges and Institutes and network with other RIAs.

** Depending on the number of researchers, it may be the case that an Institute or Centre is supported by an RIA in a College. The DVC of the relevant Division or Provost will decide whether an RIA is appointed to an Institute or Centre.

Related policy instruments

James Cook University (JCU) Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Research Code)

Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the JCU Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research Procedure

Administration

NOTE:  Printed copies of this procedure are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy Sponsor

DVC, Research and Innovation

Version no

20-1

Date for next Major Review

11/09/2023

Revision History

Version

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

20-1

11/09/2020

17/09/2020

Procedure established to support the JCU Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy

Manager, Research Grants, Ethics and Integrity – JCU Connect

Keywords

research integrity, responsible conduct of research, research code, ethics

Contact person

Manager, Research Grants, Ethics and Integrity – JCU Connect