Research Integrity Education

What is it?

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine stated in an article titled “Scientific Conduct”, 2 February 1994 that

“…as members of the professional research community, we should strive to develop and uphold standards that are broader than those addressed by the governmental regulatory and legal framework for dealing with misconduct in science.”

In a memorandum dated September 8, 1999, President Likins formally accepted this challenge when he stated:

“There continues to be a national call for increased scrutiny of research on university campuses. We are faced with a wide array of compliance mandates that continues to expand. Not meeting these mandates can have major consequences for the campus, because our ability to continue to receive Federal Funding is contingent upon our documented compliance. We all have a responsibility to become informed about prevailing policies that govern the research enterprise. …We all need to do everything we can to foster integrity in scholarship and research and …I am sure that this new program in Research Integrity Education will enhance our research enterprise in a variety of important ways.”

The University has adopted an institutional oversight procedure in order to preserve high scholarly standards. Research Integrity Education is a priority at the University of Arizona and it exists to assist students, faculty, staff, department heads, directors and deans with maintaining the highest ethical standards related to research and creative activities. Quarterly colloquia, brown bag lunch/seminar presentations, compliance committee training sessions, and online web courses combine for a program that spans various topic areas: human subjects, animal subjects, biosafety, radiation safety, conflict of interest, and good laboratory management practices. Online training utilizing resources at the University of California, San Diego, and Virginia Commonwealth University will provide an even greater depth to the UA Research Integrity Education effort in the near future.

Essential to this framework is the oversight provided by department heads, directors, and deans. The department head or director is responsible for local oversight of the implementation of University, state and federal policies and regulations as they are carried out at the department or unit level. The department head must report any violation of these policies to the dean and provide information as to the action being taken in response to the violation. The dean provides a higher level of oversight as the academic leader for a college or school. The dean is the ultimate academic leader for assuring to the provost and the vice president for research that all applicable policies for scholarly activities within the college or school are adhered to.

The Principal Investigator assumes the responsibility for adherence to all university, state, federal, and other policies relating to the research or creative activity carried out under his/her direction. This responsibility applies to funded efforts as well as un-funded research or creative activity. The institution’s obligation to its students, their parents, and the citizens of the State of Arizona and the national scholarly community mandates this commitment.