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Research Conduct policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 8 November 2023.

(2) This Policy is pursuant to the Academic Board Regulations.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy describes research integrity standards of the University based on the provisions in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 (the Code).

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all research undertaken by University staff and students.

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Section 4 - Policy

Social Responsibility

(5) The University is committed to supporting a culture and environment that promotes and fosters the responsible conduct of research.

(6) The University will not accept funding for research from, or enter into any partnership or other arrangements with organisations as proscribed in the External Relationships and Partnerships policy.

(7) The University will not engage in research that leads to the proliferation of military end use goods or weapons of mass destruction, and will adhere to Australia’s Export Controls, as proscribed by the Defence Trade Controls procedure.

(8) The University will implement measures to ensure adherence to the United Nations Security Council sanctions regime and Australian autonomous sanctions regime.

Education and Support

(9) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, through the Researcher Development portfolio, is responsible for training and education on responsible research practices, including management of concerns or complaints relating to potential research integrity breaches. 

(10) Researchers will undertake the prescribed University Research Integrity training and other training outlined by the University in relation to responsible and safe research conduct at the University and offsite.

(11) Each Faculty and Institute will nominate Research Integrity Advisers to promote and support responsible research culture and practices. Research Integrity Advisers will be appropriately trained and supported in their role by the Research Integrity Office.

(12) Heads of Academic Units will have oversight of the research conducted by staff and students within their Academic Units and for compliance with this Policy and related policies and procedures. Where research takes place across more than one Academic Unit, the Faculty Executive Dean/s or relevant Institute Director/s are jointly responsible.

Responsible Research Conduct

(13) Researchers will foster and support a research culture of honesty, respect, accountability and transparency through compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, disciplinary standards, ethical guidelines and institutional policies related to responsible research conduct.

(14) In demonstrating responsible research conduct, researchers will:

  1. adhere to the principles and responsibilities of Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 and the University’s research integrity standards
  2. only participate in research activities for which they are appropriately qualified or under the supervision of researchers who are appropriately qualified, and ensure rigour in the development, undertaking and reporting of research.
  3. engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure respect of their legal rights and local laws, customs and protocols for research which could be deemed of particular significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  4. ensure appropriate approvals are obtained prior to commencement of research and adhere to the relevant Procedures if their research involves:
    1. human participants and their data - Human Research Ethics procedure
    2. live animals - Animal Ethics and Welfare procedure
    3. Regulated biological materials -  Biosafety and Biosecurity procedure
    4. the use of ionising radiation via the University's Radiation Management Plan
    5. the use of nanomaterials via the University’s Nanosafety application process
    6. military end use, or items on the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) -  Defence Trade Controls procedure
    7. partnerships with organisations that require Commonwealth approval under the Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020
  5. complete a Research and Work Safety Assessment to identify and manage any potential risks involved in their research, and adhere to any health and safety requirements required by law, University policy, specific work area, or working offsite.
  6. retain clear, accurate, secure and complete records of all research in accordance with the Research Data Management procedure.
  7. disseminate their research findings responsibly, accurately and as broadly as possible in accordance with the Research Publication and Dissemination procedure.
  8. ensure fair and appropriate attribution of authorship and retain an authorship agreement and authorship statement in accordance with the Research Authorship procedure.
  9. participate in peer review in accordance with the Research Peer-review procedure.
  10. be aware of the risk of foreign interference in research, including data and intellectual property loss, cyber intrusion and espionage and undertake satisfactory due diligence on funders and research partners as required by the International Relations Regulation policy.
  11. disclose and manage any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest relevant to their proposed or ongoing research according to the Declaration of Interest procedure.

(15) Researchers are encouraged to participate in collaborative research and will comply with any multi-institutional and/or collaborative agreements and with the Externally Funded Research Contracts procedure.

(16) Supervisors will train, mentor, support and provide oversight of research trainees under their supervision in accordance with the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Supervision procedure and ensure research trainees meet their research integrity compliance obligations.

Research code breach and serious research code breach

(17) Any person who suspects a research code breach or serious research code breach has occurred must report the allegation in a timely manner in accordance with the Research Integrity Breaches procedure.

(18) Departures from the standards of conduct outlined in this Policy and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 may amount to a research code breach or serious research code breach and will be addressed in accordance with the Research Integrity Breaches procedure.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(19) The following procedures document how to comply with this Policy:

  1. Animal ethics and welfare procedure
  2. Biosafety and Biosecurity procedure
  3. Declaration of Interest procedure
  4. Defence Trade Controls procedure
  5. External Relationships and Partnerships policy
  6. Externally Funded Research Contracts procedure
  7. Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Supervision procedure
  8. Human Research Ethics procedure
  9. International Relations Regulation policy
  10. Research Publication and Dissemination procedure
  11. Research Authorship procedure
  12. Research Data Management procedure
  13. Research Integrity Breaches procedure
  14. Research Peer Review procedure.
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Section 6 - Definitions

(20) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Academic Unit: a School, Department, the National Indigenous Knowledges Education Research Innovation Institute or an Institute that reports directly to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation.
  2. Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL): goods, software or technology list that is regulated by the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 when exported, supplied, brokered or published.
  3. Materials: includes but is not limited to physical samples, photographs, written or audio-visual recordings, artwork, questionnaires or other instruments, fieldwork notes, and other items which are the sources of data or themselves constitute data in a research project.
  4. Publication: includes all formal public presentations of research outcomes, including exhibition or performance.
  5. Regulated Biological Materials: includes but is not limited to hazardous biological agents (microorganisms, prions or biological toxins and materials reasonably likely to contain these: blood, tissues, cell lines, body fluids sourced from living organisms; animals; plants; environmental or outbreak related samples such as food, water and soil), genetically modified organisms, imported material under biosecurity control and security sensitive biological agents.
  6. Research: the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it is new and creative.
  7. Research code breach: as defined in the Research Integrity Breaches procedure.
  8. Serious research code breach: as defined in the Research Integrity Breaches procedure.