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Research Councils UK updates Concordat assurance questions


In 2012, UK research funders and other bodies published the Concordat to Support Research Integrity, setting out what actions they require employers and researchers to take in support of research integrity. The Concordat also describes how its authors will monitor the implementation of the new requirements:

‘To provide assurance over efforts to strengthen research integrity, Research Councils UK will use its existing assurance mechanisms to garner feedback on activity across the sector. This information will be made available to other funders and provide an evidence base for the annual statement, thereby reducing the need for additional reporting requirements.’

As of 1 April 2014, Research Councils UK has updated the assurance questions it uses as part of this process. The six questions have been piloted with a group of universities and agreed by all of the funding bodies which are signatories to the Concordat. A postscript to the questions states:

‘From 1st April 2014, the questions… have been incorporated into the standard RCUK Assurance Programme of [Research Organisations (ROs)] in receipt of RCUK funding – as one of the ‘non-financial’  elements. Although questions 5 and 6 specifically refer only to RCUK funding, the responses from ROs to all the questions will be shared in confidence with the other signatories to the Concordat. (Summary data for individual ROs may be shared in confidence with other relevant bodies).

The updated assurance questions are now available on the Research Councils UK website:

Research Councils UK: Research Integrity Assurance questions (August 2012; expanded March 2014)

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