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Research Integrity

As a University, we are committed to ensuring that our researchers know and understand what is expected of them. The University’s Code of Conduct and Integrity in Research should be adhered to by all staff and research students working within or on behalf of the University.

What is Research Integrity?

For you, the researcher, research integrity is about honesty and transparency in how you conceive, conduct and report your research. You want to be fair and accurate in your presentation of interactions with peers, open about any (potential) conflicts of interest within your research and ensure that your research participant is protected, maintaining their dignity and rights at all times.

The Research Governance and Integrity Committee, chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Postgraduates, is a formal part of the University governance structure. The Committee is responsible for overseeing governance arrangements in relation to research and for promoting research integrity in all disciplines.

Governance and Integrity are essential to ensuring that the rights of research participants are safeguarded, that researchers have considered their own vulnerabilities when undertaking the research and that risks to themselves and to research participants are managed.

All research must be of high quality, assessed using scientific peer review and conducted with integrity and transparency.
The ethical issues presented in the methodology and running of the study must be considered and appropriately managed.
It is vital that researchers take account of, and comply with, national legislation, funding body requirements, external codes of practice and the University’s policies and procedures.
As an Institution, Queen’s University Belfast will audit and monitor research studies, identifying and, where possible, sharing good practice and taking action where misconduct in research is discovered.

Concordat to Support Research Integrity

The Concordat to Support Research Integrity was developed by Universities UK (UUK) in collaboration with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust. The University fully supports the Concordat which provides a framework for good research conduct and governance. All those engaged in research are expected to adhere to the five key principles identified in the Concordat. These are:

  • To maintain the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
  • To ensure that research is conducted according to the appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
  • To support a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers
  • To use transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
  • To work together to strengthen the integrity of research and to review progress regularly and openly