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Marc F. Joanisse, Ph.D . U. Western Ontario Karen Wallace PowerPoint Presentation
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Marc F. Joanisse, Ph.D . U. Western Ontario Karen Wallace

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Marc F. Joanisse, Ph.D . U. Western Ontario Karen Wallace

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  1. The Tri-council Framework On Responsible Conduct In ResearchA Panel Member And Researcher’s Perspective Marc F. Joanisse, Ph.D. U. Western Ontario Karen Wallace Secretariaton ResponsibleConduct of Research

  2. Overview • Governance of Responsible Conduct of Research in Canada • Highlights of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research • Responsibilities of researchers, institutions and Agencies in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

  3. Governance of RCR in Canada Based on policy, not regulatory authority; enforced through funding Institutions are eligible to receive and administer Agency funding on condition that they comply with and enforce Agency policies Researchers must follow Agency policies as a condition of funding (set out in application/funding agreement)

  4. Governance Structure Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research (PRCR) Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research (SRCR)

  5. Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research (PRCR) • Volunteer, independent body • Members appointed by Agency Presidents • drawn from a range of disciplines and professional backgrounds, including institutional administrators • experienced in addressing research integrity issues • Advises the three Agency Presidents

  6. PRCR mandate Review institutional inquiry/investigation reports with all identifying information removed Recommend recourse to Agency Presidents for final decision Promote responsible conduct through education Provide advice to Agencies on responsibility matters Review Framework every five years Recommend revisions to Framework

  7. Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research (SRCR) Formerly Secretariat on Research Ethics Responsible for human research ethics and responsible conduct of research on behalf of the Agencies Central point of contact for all matters related to RCR for all three federal research Agencies CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC

  8. Scope of the Framework • Applies to researchers holding Tri-Council funds • And to institutions eligible to administer those funds

  9. Institutional Responsibilities • Establish and enforce Responsible Research policy • Framework applies to all research conducted under the auspices or jurisdiction of the institution – regardless of source of funding • So – institutions must address all allegations in accordance with the minimum requirements of the Framework • Through initial inquiry • And, if necessary, formal investigation • Report to Agencies if Agency funding is involved

  10. Framework Implementation: Institutional Challenges • Adapting institutional policies to comply with Framework • June 2012 deadline – extended to end of 2012 • Adding external members to investigation committees • Cost; inconvenience; difficult to identify members • Adherence to timelines • 2 months for inquiries; additional 5 months for investigations • Education • Limited resources (human and material)

  11. Assistance from the Agencies Advice from Secretariat Interpretations of the Framework Informal discussions re: investigations Educational resources (free) Basic RCR webinars Interactive on-line RCR tutorial (winter 2014 launch)

  12. Researcher Responsibilities • Promote research integrity • Manage Agency funds responsibly • Comply with Agency policies • Provide true and accurate information to the Agencies

  13. Breaches Include • Fabrication, Falsification • Destruction of research records • Plagiarism, Redundant publication • Invalid authorship, Inadequate acknowledgment • Failure to manage conflicts of interest

  14. And… • Misrepresentation of data • E.g., falsification in grant applications, progress reports • Mismanagement/misuse of funds • Non-compliance of Agency policies • E.g., human ethics, animal care

  15. Allegations of Misconduct • Typically directed to the Respondent’s institution • But could also be directed to Secretariat • Either way, Institution performs the inquiry

  16. How Are Allegations of Breaches Handled? • Institutional Investigation • An initial inquiry determines if an investigation is warranted • Investigation examines validity of allegation • Arm’s length committee investigates, reports findings to Secretariat

  17. Allegations cont. • Institution reports outcome to Secretariat • In a timely manner (see policies) • Report is only required if Agency funds are involved • PRCR meets to discuss outcome of institution report • Anonymized/redacted • Recommends recourse to the relevant Tri-Council President(s)

  18. Scope of Decisions/Recourse • Institution-level recourse is independent of PRCR decision/recourse. • PRCR decision focuses on use of Agency funds • Research not falling under Tri-Council funding is outside its scope

  19. Potential Agency Recourse • Letter of concern • Funding ineligibility for a defined period • Terminate/seek refund of funds already paid • Ineligibility to serve on agency committees • Request researcher correct research record • Other recourse possible by law

  20. What the Panel Can’t Do • Launch an independent investigation • Always the Institution’s responsibility • Recommend institution-level recourse • Recourse is only what can be implemented at the Tri-Council level • Institutions can provide own recourse if warranted • Respond to allegations concerning activities not funded through Tri-council

  21. Case Study #1 • A postdoctoral fellow applies for NSERC funding, listing a publication as “in press” that is in fact not accepted for publication. • A peer reviewer notices that this publications doesn’t appear to exist. • Is this a problem? How big?

  22. Case Study #1 (cont.) • Yes – it’s a breach of policy. • At time of application the individual accepts to comply with the Framework. • Even “small” embellishments represent a significant breach • Sample recourse: Applicant is declared ineligible to hold funding for 2 years.

  23. Case Study #2 • Following publication of a study in a journal, a PI discovers some of the reported data was likely falsified by a lab member. • PI fails to report the breach to the Institution in a timely manner. • Institution discovers the breach when they read about it in Retraction Watch website.

  24. Case Study #2 Cont. • Both the PI and lab member are potential respondents in an investigation • PI appears to have known about the breach and fail to report it. • Institution recommends recourse for both, individuals • But must also communicate findings with Secretariat since study was Tri-Council funded

  25. Case Study 2: Recourse • Lab member is deemed ineligible to hold Tri-Council funds or sit on an Agency peer review panel for life • PI is deemed ineligible for 2 years • Institution must repay remaining portion of the award