The Concordat to Support Research Integrity, developed by Universities UK in collaboration with the funding and research councils, the Wellcome Trust and various government departments, sets out five commitments that will provide assurances to government, the wider public and the international community that research in the UK continues to be underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity.
The concordat is intended to:
The University of Bedfordshire, like all signatories, is required to make five key commitments in order to be compliant with the Concordat.
These are addressed through the policies, procedures and structures of the University and are summarised here:
|Commitment required under the Concordat|| University policies, procedures|
To maintain the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
Staff and students are made aware of expectations. The University Research Ethics Committee oversees research across the university, and regularly reviews research institute and faculty ethics processes. The committee includes external members as well as experienced staff from across the faculties and management of the university.
To ensure that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
Ethics policies and processes are available to all researchers and training and advice is provided for taught and research students, and for staff. There are established processes for the scrutiny of staff and student research proposals and for the referral to higher committees where appropriate.
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
All research institutes have an ethics coordinator. All faculties have an ethics board with a named chair. Ethical issues are embedded within UG and PGT courses and form part of PGR mandatory training. Staff development is provided for university staff with respect to their own research and the research of students they supervise.
To use transparent, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
Robust processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct are in place involving multi-stage processes with new investigators appointed at each stage. Conflicts of interest are avoided at all stages and potential outcomes are proportionate.
To work together to strengthen the integrity of research and to reviewing progress regularly and openly
The University Research Ethics Committee; the Research Institutes; and the Research Graduate School and the Research and Enterprise Office through their committees (Research Development Committee and Research and Enterprise Committee) all report to the Academic Board ensuring university-wide oversight issues of research integrity and ethics.
The University requires that all research undertaken by its staff and students is conducted in line with the generally accepted principles of ethical research in that:
All research projects conducted by staff and research students, all undergraduate and taught postgraduate projects and dissertations must receive the appropriate ethics committee scrutiny and where necessary approval (as set out in the Operating Procedures as approved by the University Research Ethics Committee).
Most research projects that require ethical approval will seek to gain that from an institute, faculty or university rec. Some research projects must gain ethical approval from external bodies (e.g. NRES for studies involving NHS patients). In such cases, evidence of external approval will scrutinised by the relevant REC and may be accepted in lieu of an application to that REC.
In the event of any inquiries or concerns regarding issues of research integrity, contact the Chair of the University Research Ethics Committee, Professor Patrick Carmichael at UREC@beds.ac.uk
If application to the chair of UREC is inappropriate, concerns may be raised under the University Policy and Procedure on Whistleblowing - PDF 131.3 KB (Public Interest Disclosure), in relation to:
Concerns should be addressed to the University Secretary, who is the Clerk to the Governors, at the following address:
University of Bedfordshire
During office hours
+44 (0)1234 400 400
Outside office hours
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89
University of Bedfordshire
UK, LU1 3JU