Misconduct Investigation Procedure

The Procedure is a step-by-step manual for investigating allegations of fraud and misconduct in research, applicable to all subject areas and suitable for all organisations engaged in research – universities, NHS organisations, private sector bodies and charities.

Published in 2008, the Procedure has been adopted by universities and NHS Trusts, endorsed by funding bodies and used to investigate allegations of research misconduct, which can have serious and wide-ranging implications if not addressed properly.

The Procedure explains how a research organisation can create a system to address suspected research misconduct and fraud and sets out a process to be followed from the receipt of an allegation to the conclusion of an investigation and actions that might be taken afterwards. The Procedure describes the many issues that can arise in the course of an investigation, especially with complex allegations, and how to address them.

Use of the Procedure can help ensure that important issues are not missed and investigations are:

  • thorough and objective
  • carried out with fairness to all concerned and in a confidential and timely manner
  • flexible to the circumstances of individual cases
  • driven by strong principles

Institutions can adopt the Procedure for use when investigating allegations of misconduct in research or use it as a reference tool when revising their existing processes to address misconduct. It works with existing institutional processes such as disciplinary and grievance procedures and does not replace them.

Research Councils UK advises the adoption of the Procedure in its Policy and Code of Conduct on the Governance of Good Research Conduct. UKRIO is happy to provide advice and assistance to institutions on the adoption and use of the Procedure and on the general revision of policies and systems to promote good research practice and address fraud and misconduct.

Individuals and organisations who would like to receive a hard copy of the Procedure should contact UKRIO