Expert involvement in investigations

There is no overall statutory regulation of research in the UK. When a field of research is not governed by statute, it normally falls to the relevant research organisation to investigate any concerns about research conducted by its staff or students. It is vital that these investigations are thorough and objective. To help ensure this, UKRIO recommends in its Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research that formal investigation panels include one or more external participants. Research funders and similar bodies now make the same recommendation.

Such involvement from external participants brings a skilled and experienced perspective to investigations and can help reassure all involved that the process will be thorough and fair. They do not take over the investigation process or trespass on the responsibilities of the investigating organisation. Instead they help the organisation ensure that it carries out its responsibilities well.

UKRIO is not able to directly source panel members for subscriber institutions but can facilitate contact with members of our Advisory Community and other volunteers, who may be able to participate as external members of formal investigation panels. Please use this form to contact us if you would like more information or to request our help in putting you in touch with a potential external participant. If you have access to the subscriber portal please make a request for a panel member via this form.

Like all of UKRIO’s services, this is provided in complete confidence. If we facilitate contact with a potential external participant, they make no reports to UKRIO concerning an investigation or its outcome as we recognise that to break confidentiality would damage the integrity of the enquiry.

Advice on research misconduct investigations

UKRIO also provides advice on procedural and other issues arising during investigations, giving direct support to those conducting an investigation on behalf of a research organisation. We do not take over the investigation, influence the outcome or breach confidentiality. Instead, drawing on our extensive experience, we help investigators deal with difficult issues rigorously and objectively, avoiding common issues and pitfalls. To get advice from UKRIO, please use this form to contact us.