Proposed RESEARCH MISCONDUCT POLICY
I. Statement of Purpose
Research is among the best and highest forms of scholarship. Maintenance of high ethical standards of conduct in research activities is a vital concern to FairleighDickinsonUniversity because research misconduct can inflict profound harm on the pursuit of knowledge. The purpose of this policy is to provide a timely, fair and effective procedure to address instances of research misconduct. A further purpose of this policy is ensure that research activities at Fairleigh Dickinson University are conducted in a manner which complies with University policy, applicable state and Federal laws; and the requirements of grant-makers and sponsors.
This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, trainees, fellows, interns, professional staff, collaborators, contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, and any other organization or person who is affiliated with Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Research Misconduct: means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism of research publications, theft of research data from others, or other practices which seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the research community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretation or judgments of data. Furthermore, this definition includes violations of University policy pertaining to research, including: the failure to obtain proper review and approval by the University committee responsible for research involving human subjects, animal subjects, radioactive materials, or other biohazards, as well as the failure to comply with rules and guidelines set forth by the committees responsible for these areas.
Researcher: Any person who conducts research in the facilities of FairleighDickinsonUniversity, or with University support, or under any grant, contract or other arrangement between the University and any third party. The term includes faculty, staff, students, trainees, fellows, interns, collaborators, contractors, sub·contractors, consultants, organizations, or anyone else affiliated with the University who conducts or oversees the conduct of research activities.
Researchers have a duty to perform their research activities in an ethical fashion. Any Researcher who engages in any form of Research Misconduct shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment or other affiliation with FairleighDickinsonUniversity.
A. Lodging of Complaints
1. Complaints of alleged research misconduct shall be lodged with the Dean of the college either orally or as a signed written statement. The complaint must state, with reasonable specificity, the alleged misconduct in which accused Researcher has engaged.
2. The Dean shall immediately conduct a preliminary inquiry to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to merit a formal investigation. As part of the assessment, the Dean shall provide the accused Researcher a copy of a written complaint, or written narrative of an oral complaint, and an opportunity to respond in writing to the complaint. The Dean shall simultaneously provide the accused Researcher with a copy of this policy statement.
3. If the Dean determines that no investigation is merited, then the Dean shall terminate the inquiry and inform the accused Researcher and the charging party of the determination.
4. If the Dean determines that an investigation is merited, then the Dean shall appoint an Investigative Committee of four faculty members to investigate the complaint. The Dean may also appoint persons to the Investigative Committee, from inside or outside of the University, who have scholarly expertise in the subject matter area underlying the complaint.
5. Any person who believes that he or she cannot be impartial, or who believes that he or she lacks sufficient qualifications, shall not accept an appointment to serve on an Investigating Committee. The accused Researcher may challenge an appointment on either of the foregoing grounds. The Dean shall make a final determination as to the fitness of any person to serve on an Investigative Committee.
6. If the research project of the accused Researcher is funded by state or Federal funds, then the Dean shall inform the Director of the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects, who shall notify the funding agency about the complaint and shall keep the agency informed throughout the process. The outcome of the investigation will be reported to the funding agency. This procedure shall also apply if the terms of a grant funded by a non-governmental organization require that the University provide the organization notice of alleged research misconduct.
B. Formal Investigations of Complaints
1. The charge of the Investigative Committee is to make a determination whether an act of research misconduct has occurred. The Investigative Committee shall undertake a thorough analysis of the complaint. The Investigative Committee shall obtain all relevant information; interview persons with relevant knowledge; interview the accused Researcher; review relevant research undertaken by accused Researcher; and review any other relevant research. The accused Researcher may be accompanied by an advisor at the interview, but the advisor shall not be an attorney-at law, and shall attempt to represent or advocate for the accused Researcher.
2. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigative Committee shall prepare and submit a written report of its findings and conclusions to the Dean. The Investigative Committee shall describe how the investigation was conducted; identify all persons fromwhom information was obtained; and list all forms of research which it reviewed.
3. The Dean shall review the report of the Investigative Committee. The Dean shall provide the accused Researcher with a copy of the report. The accused Researcher shall have five calendar days to submit a written response to the report to the Dean.
4. The Dean may accept or reject the report, or remand the matter to the Investigative Committee for further investigation.
5. If the Investigative Committee finds that the complaint is not founded, and the Dean concurs with this finding, then proceedings shall be terminated. In such an event, the Dean shall notify the Investigating Committee, the charging party, the accused Researcher, the University Provost and the chair or director that the investigation has been terminated.
6. If the Investigative Committee finds that the complaint is founded, and the Dean concurs with this finding, then the Dean shall inform the Investigative Committee the Investigating Committee, the charging party, the accused Researcher, the University Provost and the chair or director of the determination.
7. The Dean may impose discipline against the accused Researcher, in accordance with University policy, any applicable collective bargaining agreement, or the Faculty Handbook of FairleighDickinsonUniversity.
6. If the research misconduct arises from grant-funded or sponsored research activity, then the Dean shall also provide the Director of Grants and Sponsored Projects notice of the determination and a copy of the investigative report. The Director shall inform the funding agency of the determination and provide a copy of the final Investigative report to the funding agency, if such disclosures are required by the terms and conditions of the grant.
9. The University shall suspend the accused Researcher from engaging state or Federally-funded research activities, and from expending research funds, during the investigation.
10. The Dean shall provide the accused Researcher with an opportunity to meet and discuss the report, before any action is taken bythe Dean under paragraph B. 6 or B. 9.
11. An accused Researcher against whom the Dean has imposed discipline may immediately invoke any applicable grievance procedure provided in the FacUlty Handbook of Fairleigh Dickinson University, any collective bargaining agreement or any administrative policy, or request that the University Provost review the Dean's determination. The request shall be made to the University Provost, in writing, within five business days after the date of the Dean's determination. The accused Researcher shall state, with reasonable specificity, the reasons for requesting a review. The University Provost shall issue a written response to the accused Researcher. with a copy to the Dean, within ten business days after receipt of the request for a review. Deadlines for initiating grievance procedures to challenge discipline shall be stayed until the date of the response of the University Provost.
12. The investigation shall be concluded within 180 days from the date of the Dean's receipt of an initial complaint, except for good cause.
VI. Other Matters
1. Complaints of research misconduct must be made in good faith and with a reasonable belief that misconduct has occurred. A complaint is not made in good faith if it is made with reckless disregard or willful ignorance of, facts which could disprove an allegation of misconduct. Based on the recommendation of the Investigating Committee or the Dean, discipline may be imposed against anyone who makes a bad faith charge of research misconduct.
2. The University shall not discipline or retaliate against any person who makes a good faith charge of research misconduct.
3. The University shall ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout the process.
4. In the event that a preliminary inquiry or an investigation is terminated by the Dean, the University shall purge all records related to the complaint from any personnel files maintained by the Dean, chair or director, or Human Resources Department on the accused Researcher. Depending upon the circumstances, the Dean shall, with the concurrence of the accused Researcher, notify all agencies and individuals who are aware of the complaint about the outcome of the preliminary assessment or investigation.
5. These procedures shall apply to complaints of research misconduct for contracted research activities.