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Research Conduct policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy is effective from 4 November 2020.

(2) Legislation governing research conduct at the University includes:

  1. Statute 2.2 - Academic Board
  2. Statute 5.2 - Academic Awards
  3. Regulation 5.2 (2) Higher Education Award Courses - General
  4. Statute 9.1 - Intellectual Property
  5. Regulation 9.1 (1) Intellectual Property.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Policy sets out the University’s commitment to promoting a culture of responsible and ethical conduct of all those engaged in research at the University.

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Section 3 - Scope

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

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) This Policy describes the principles of the responsible conduct of research at the University and is based on the provisions in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, 2018 (the Code).


Social Responsibility

(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 policy.

(7) The University will not engage in research that leads to the proliferation of conventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction and acts of terrorism and will comply with the Defence Trade Controls Act (Cwth) 2012, as well as the United Nations Security Council and Australian Government sanctions under the Charter of the United Nations Act (Cwth) 1945.

(8) The University will not engage in financial transactions with and/or supply military or strategic goods and services (including technology transfer, technical assistance or advice and 'dual use of research of concern' goods) to a sanctioned country or designated person and will comply with the Autonomous Sanctions Act (Cwth) 2011.

Research Integrity

(9) Researchers will foster and maintain a research environment of honesty, integrity, and scientific rigour through compliance with all relevant state and national legislation and protocols. Researchers are responsible for being aware of research integrity requirements, as detailed on the University's Research Integrity website, and to participate in further education and training as required for the conduct of their research.

(10) Researchers will respect research participants and the animals they use in research in compliance to the relevant legislation and codes.

(11) Researchers will inform themselves of the risks involved in their research and carry out appropriate risk assessments as required by law or University policy.

(12) Researchers will obtain written approval from the appropriate ethics committees, safety and other regulatory bodies, where relevant for:

  1. Research using human participants, (including University staff or students) via the University's human research ethics approval process
  2. Research using animals via the University's animal ethics research approval process
  3. Research using microorganisms and biological materials, including genetically modified organisms and potential bioterrorist agents via the University's biosafety and biosecurity approval process
  4. Research involving the use of ionising radiation via the University's Radiation Management Plan.

(13) Where research is managed by collaborators or external parties, evidence of approval from external ethics committees, safety and other regulatory bodies will be provided to the Deakin Research Integrity Office prior to commencing the research at the University.

(14) Research undertaken that may be considered 'dual use of research of concern', or include items on the Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL), will comply with the Defence Trade Controls Act (Cwth) 2012 and obtain a permit when exporting, supplying, brokering or publishing DSGL items, unless there is an exemption. Further information is found on the University's Defence trade controls website.

(15) The principal investigator nominated on an ethics application must be a University Academic staff member. Students are not eligible to be principal investigators.

(16) Heads of Academic Units are responsible for the conduct of research within their Academic Units and for the 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. In particular, this means having clear, documented processes for managing research and ensuring any associated health and safety, environmental, business or financial risks are identified and managed. This includes research undertaken at any location substantially controlled by the University even though it may not be a University owned site.

(17) Organisational consent for research involving University staff and students as participants must be obtained prior to seeking human ethics approval. Approval will only be given where staff and student participation is appropriate and necessary for the research and other options are not available. Such research will minimise the number of staff and students involved. Where the research is by an external party it must also be of benefit to the University and relevant results provided to staff or students involved.

(18) Organisational consent must be maintained from one of the following:

  1. the Head of Academic Unit for staff and students enrolled in their Academic Unit (including participants in combined courses where the research relates to their enrolment in that Academic Unit)
  2. the Faculty Executive Dean or Institute Director for staff and students in more than one Academic Unit
  3. the Dean of Students for students in two or more Faculties or Institutes
  4. the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research for staff in two or more Faculties, Institutes or Portfolios.

(19) Where the proposed research is changed as a result of the ethics approval process, approval for any amendments, including the plain language statement and consent form must be reconfirmed by the responsible person/s in clause 18.

(20) Where more than 200 students are to be surveyed, researcher/s will also consult with the Strategic Intelligence and Planning Unit prior to scheduling the research.

Health and safety in research

(21) Researchers will inform themselves of the risks involved in their research and carry out appropriate risk assessments as required by law or University policy, particularly occupational health and safety and environmental risks.

Management of research data and primary materials

(22) Researchers will properly manage research data and primary materials that enables them to justify the outcomes of their research, defend research findings if challenged and to support the reproducibility of research where necessary. Researchers will address ownership, collection, storage and retention of research data, and access to data beyond the completion of their research project according to the Code and the Research Data Management procedure.

Supervisors and research students

(23) Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that research students under their supervision meet relevant research integrity compliance obligations. Supervisors will train, mentor, support and provide oversight of research outcomes according to the Code and the Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) Supervision procedure. Supervisors are responsible for the health and safety of any student or staff involved in or affected by the research.

(24) Research students will participate in induction and training in the responsible conduct of research and comply with the University's Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) policy.

Publication and dissemination of research

(25) Researchers will disseminate their research findings responsibly and as broadly as possible according to the Code and the Publication and Dissemination of Research procedure.

(26) If researchers become aware of inaccurate statements in their work they must correct the record and Deakin Research Online, within three working days.

(27) Researchers will adhere to the requirements of the Defence Trade Controls Act (Cwth) 2012 in relation to publication about defence and strategic goods and technologies as listed on Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL).


(28) Researchers will accurately and appropriately attribute authorship and contributions fairly for all research outputs according to the Code and Research Authorship procedure.

Peer review

(29) Researchers are encouraged to participate in peer review and will conduct peer review responsibly and in accordance with the Research Peer Review procedure.

(30) Supervisors should assist research students to develop the necessary skills for peer review.

Conflicts of interests

(31) Researchers will disclose and manage any actual, potential or perceived conflicts of interest in the course of research according to the Code and Conflict of Interest procedure.

Collaborative research across institutions

(32) Researchers are encouraged to participate in collaborative research and will comply with any multi-institutional agreements according to the Code, including the University's Externally Funded Research Contracts procedure.

Conscientious objection

(33) Researchers who conscientiously object to being involved in conducting research with human embryos, foetuses, embryonic or foetal tissue or animals will not be obliged to participate in such research, nor will they be put at a disadvantage because of their objection.

Research code breach and serious research code breach

(34) Departures from the standards of conduct outlined in this policy may amount to research code breach or serious research code breach on the part of the individual researcher.

(35) Any person will report any suspected research code breach or serious research code breach in a timely manner in accordance with the Research Integrity Breaches procedure.

(36) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research will notify the Director, Academic Governance and Standards of allegations of serious research code breach. The Director will ensure that the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is notified where required under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011.

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Section 5 - Procedure

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

  1. Research Authorship procedure
  2. Publication and Dissemination of Research procedure
  3. Research Data Management procedure
  4. Research Integrity Breaches procedure
  5. Research Peer Review procedure.
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Section 6 - Definitions

(38) 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.
  2. Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) : goods, software or technology list that is regulated by the Defence Trade Controls Act (Cwth) 2012 when exported, supplied, brokered or published.
  3. dual use of research of concern: where research can have alternative applications with negative implications for public health and safety or national security.
  4. 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.
  5. publication: includes all formal public presentations of research outcomes, including exhibition or performance.
  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