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This procedure applies to allegations of research breach or research misconduct by staff of the University. Allegations of research breach or research misconduct by student researchers will be dealt with under Statute 4.1 Student Misconduct. Where an allegation concerns a staff member who is also a student, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will determine which procedure is the most appropriate in all the circumstances.This procedure does not limit a person’s ability to lodge a protected disclosure where an allegation concerns dishonest conduct by a staff researcher, serious enough that if proven it could constitute a criminal offence or provide reasonable grounds for dismissal. Any protected disclosure should be made in accordance with the Whistleblowers Protection Act Disclosures — Procedure.

Contact details for the Protected Disclosure Coordinator, Protected Disclosure Officers and the Ombudsman Victoria are set out in Schedule A of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001 — Disclosures Procedure.

Responsible Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Implementation Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

First approved by:
Academic Board on 22 March 2011

Amendments approved by:
Chair AB on 11 July 2014
(new clause as second part of clause 10
- under delegated authority)

Policy Manager on 4 September 2014
(minor amendment - Whistleblowers Protection Act 2001
has now been repealed and replaced by the
Protected Disclosure Act 2012)

Amended on 12 August 2015
(Legislation document link change to Unisol website)




Staff Research Misconduct Procedure


The new Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2013 came into effect on 25 November 2013 and this policy/procedure is currently under review. Affected policies and procedures will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new changes.
This procedure was approved by Academic Board on 22 March 2011 and incorporates all amendments to 11 July 2014.
This document is pursuant to the Code of Conduct and includes the following legislation:
Statute 4.1 Student Misconduct.
DEFINITIONS

Misconduct in relation to research is defined variously within the Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic), the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Australian Code) and the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2013 (EA).

For the purposes of this procedure there are two levels of research non-compliance:

  • research breach which means matters that are considered less serious and can appropriately be dealt with at the school, institute or faculty level; and
  • research misconduct which includes both ‘misconduct’ and ‘serious misconduct’ as defined in the EA (in relation to research), ‘research misconduct’ as defined by the Australian Code, and ‘corrupt conduct’ or ‘improper conduct’ as defined in the WPA if they are engaged in by a staff member in relation to research. Research misconduct does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretation or judgement.

This procedure supports the University’s commitments relating to research misconduct under the Australian Code, the WPA and the EA.
SCOPE

This procedure applies to allegations of research breach or research misconduct by staff of the University. Allegations of research breach or research misconduct by student researchers will be dealt with under Statute 4.1 Student Misconduct. Where an allegation concerns a staff member who is also a student, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will determine which procedure is the most appropriate in all the circumstances.This procedure does not limit a person’s ability to lodge a protected disclosure where an allegation concerns dishonest conduct by a staff researcher, serious enough that if proven it could constitute a criminal offence or provide reasonable grounds for dismissal. Any protected disclosure should be made in accordance with the Protection of Persons from Detrimental Action Procedure.

Contact details for the Protected Disclosure Coordinator, Protected Disclosure Officers and the Ombudsman Victoria are set out in Schedule A: Responsibilities of the Protected Disclosure Coordinator and Welfare Manager of the Protection of Persons from Detrimental Action Procedure.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Advisors in Research Integrity (ARI)

ARI are academic staff members of the University appointed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (DVCR) whose role is to provide advice to persons considering making an allegation of research breach or research misconduct against a staff member. An ARI will not attempt to make an assessment of an allegation nor investigate an allegation.

In the event that the allegation is sufficiently serious to constitute a protected disclosure for the purposes of the WPA and the person considering making an allegation decides not to proceed with the matter, the ARI must determine whether the allegation warrants further investigation. The ARI may also choose to make a protected disclosure under the WPA. Should the ARI choose to make a protected disclosure they must make all reasonable efforts to avoid identifying the source of the information.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) (DVCR)
The DVCR or nominee shall be considered the ‘Designated Person’ as defined in the
Australian Code. The DVCR or nominee has responsibility to receive on behalf of the University all complaints relating to research misconduct.

PROCEDURE
1A staff member or student considering making an allegation of research breach or research misconduct may obtain confidential advice on integrity in research and possible misconduct procedures from Advisers in Research Integrity (ARI) appointed by the DVCR. Contact details for advisers may be obtained from the Office of Research Integrity website.
2A staff member, student or other interested party who has concerns over the conduct of research may approach the DVCR directly at any stage.
Informal Process
3Where a staff member has concerns in relation to the conduct of research the staff member is encouraged, in the first instance, to discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, the Head of School or another senior member of staff within the Faculty.
4Where a concern is raised by a staff member, the person receiving the concern must assess whether the matter is not serious and can be resolved informally, or whether the matter may be serious, or requires further inquiry.
5The DVCR must be advised if any informal action is taken to resolve the matter at a local level.
6Where the matter may be serious and requires further inquiry, the matter must be referred to the DVCR, in writing, and the matter will be pursued in accordance with this procedure.
Dealing with Allegations of Research Misconduct
7Allegations of research misconduct must be made in writing to the DVCR. The DVCR may appoint a nominee to act on their behalf in the matter.
8The DVCR will advise the staff member against whom the allegations have been made, in writing, that they are the subject of allegations of research misconduct, the nature of the allegations and, where the DVCR deems appropriate, the identity of the person who made the allegations.
9The DVCR may determine that the subject or subjects of the complaint shall cease work on the research program immediately.
10The DVCR or nominee must make a prima facie assessment of the allegations. To make this assessment the DVCR or nominee will review the complaint, will provide the person against whom the allegations are made the opportunity to make a response to the allegations and may seek any additional information to inform their decision.
The DVCR may determine, prima facie:
  • there is no case for the staff member(s) to answer and recommend that the matter be dismissed; or
  • the allegations refer to a research breach and refer the matter to the school, institute or faculty; or
  • the allegations refer to research misconduct and recommend that the matter be pursued in accordance with clause 20 of the EA; or
  • the allegations refer to matters not dealt with in this procedure and recommend that the matter be pursued in accordance with other University policies or procedures.
The DVCR shall advise the Vice-Chancellor in writing of their assessment and their recommendations.
The DVC(R) will notify the Director, Quality and Standards of outcomes of the assessment and recommendations of research misconduct. The Director will ensure that the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards (TEQSA) is notified where required under the TEQSA Act.
11Where it is determined that there is no case to answer, both the staff member against whom the allegation is made and the complainant shall be informed in writing of the outcome.
12Where it is determined that the case may be appropriately dealt with by the school or faculty, the matter will be referred in writing to the Head of School, Director of Institute or the Pro Vice-Chancellor for action. A report of the action taken must be provided as set out in clause 13 below.
Records
13In all cases including those dealt with within the school, institute or faculty, written documentation of the allegation and its outcome must be provided to the Office of the DVCR.
Correction of the Public Record
14Where research misconduct or a research breach has resulted in incorrect information placed upon the public record, action shall be taken by the DVCR or nominee to correct the public record. Details of the correction should also be forwarded to Deakin Research Online.
ASSOCIATED INFORMATION

Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Code of Conduct
Deakin Research Online
Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2013
Office of Research Integrity website
Protected Disclosure Act 2012 (Vic)
Protection of Persons from Detrimental Action Procedure
Tertiary Education Quality and Standards (TEQSA) Act

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

The Chair, Academic Board is responsible for the development, compliance monitoring and review of this procedure.

IMPLEMENTATION OFFICER

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) is responsible for the promulgation and implementation of this procedure throughout the University.



Printed copies of this document may not be current. Please refer to The Guide for the most recent version.
Deakin University 2015