University of Calgary

Leading accountability for Responsible Conduct of Research

UToday HomeApril 1, 2013

In 2012 Tri-Council launched a new policy for Responsible Conduct of Research consolidating the standards which Tri-Council imposes on individual researchers setting expectations for a higher level of accountability, regardless of the source of funding. To ensure the University of Calgary is aligned with Tri-Council’s new policy, and operating within the highest standards, a new procedure with a streamlined system for receiving and investigating allegations of research misconduct takes effect March 28, 2013. The new procedure applies to all allegations of research misconduct, regardless of the source of funding.

The framework: new standards for accountability

The Tri-Council’s Responsible Conduct of Research Framework requires all research institutions receiving Tri-Council funding to have strong systems in place to ensure accountability to all the standards of Responsible Conduct of Research. Compliance with the systems outlined in the framework is now a condition of continued eligibility by all Canadian institutions for Tri-Council funding.

New University of Calgary procedure

To address this Tri-Council requirement, the University of Calgary created the new Investigating a Breach of Research Integrity procedure. The existing policy for Integrity in Scholarly Activity continues to be in effect for all matters not governed by the procedure.

The procedure implements important changes:

  • Allegations relating to Responsible Conduct of Research will follow a separate path from allegations of Scholarly Misconduct and will be made directly to an independent administrative position, the Protected Disclosure Co-ordinator;
  • All allegations of a breach of Responsible Conduct of Research standards will be dealt with according to the procedure, whether or not the research was funded by Tri-Council;
  • Allegations disclosed and investigated under the procedure can include any of the following:
    • Misrepresentations in grant applications,
    • Non-compliance with standards for human research, animal care and biohazards,
    • Conflict of interest,
    • Non-compliance with standards of research integrity,
    • Misuse of grant funds.

“As a research institution, our relationship with Tri-Council is of utmost importance,” says Ed McCauley, vice-president (research). “Our new procedure ensures that we continue to do everything necessary and within our ability to preserve our strong working relationship with a significant funder of research activity at the University of Calgary while operating with the best possible procedures.”

This procedure is consistent with the requirements of Tri-Council’s Framework for Responsible Conduct of Research and with our own Eyes High strategic direction to embrace the highest standards of excellence in research. Through our responsive procedures and clearly outlined responsibilities for researchers, the University of Calgary will continue to sharpen our focus on research all the while being committed to the foundations of scholarly activity.

Please see the training materials on the Vice-President (Research) website for further information.