Research Integrity Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define CFGR policies and expectations with regard to research integrity, in a manner consistent with encouraging the highest standards of research.

As a registered charity and as a public foundation, the CFGR is committed to the highest standards of integrity in research and regards any action that is inconsistent with integrity as misconduct.

Integrity in research includes the principles contained in this policy and should be interpreted with the understanding that research can involve honest error, conflicting data or valid differences in experimental design or in interpretation or judgment of information.

This policy is consistent with standard operating practices in Canadian academic research and best practice in any research environment.

This policy overlaps with CFGR rules governing the use of research funds.

  1. Principles and Responsibilities

    The CFGR is responsible to its donors, funders, member, and to the legal and regulatory requirements of charities for ensuring that funds administered by it are used with a high degree of integrity, accountability and responsibility.

    The CFGR holds individual researchers and practitioners receiving CFGR research funds, either as grants or commissioned research, responsible for promoting integrity in research and scholarship and upholding the following principles:

    • recognizing the substantive contributions of collaborators and students; using unpublished work of other researchers, practitioners and scholars only with permission and with due acknowledgement; and using archival material in accordance with the rules of the archival source;
    • obtaining the permission of the author before using new information, concepts or data originally obtained through access to confidential manuscripts or applications for funds for research or training that may have been seen as a result of processes such as peer review;
    • using scholarly and scientific rigour and integrity in obtaining, recording and analysing data, and in reporting and publishing results;
    • ensuring that authorship of published work includes all those who have materially contributed to, and share responsibility for, the contents of the publication, and only those people;
    • revealing to sponsors, postsecondary institutions, journals or funding agencies, any material conflict of interest, financial or other, that might influence their decisions on whether the individual should be asked to review manuscripts or applications, test products or be permitted to undertake work sponsored from outside sources; and
    • following the guidelines established for research involving human participants as set forth in Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. 1998 (with 2000, 2002 and 2005 amendments) and as may be amended from time to time.
  2. Promotion and Investigation Requirements

    The primary responsibility for high standards of conduct in research rests with the individuals carrying out these activities. The CFGR expects individual researchers and practitioners receiving funds from the CFGR to adhere to the principles detailed in this policy.

    The CFGR also holds institutions, organizations, corporations and other entities that receive and administer CFGR research funds responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving researchers, students or employees working with funds from the CFGR.

    Promoting Integrity in Research

    Integrity in research is best encouraged by developing awareness among all involved of the need for the highest standards of integrity, accountability and responsibility. Institutions should provide an environment conducive to this goal, and actively promote programs for the education of researchers, students, and employees.

    The CFGR requires individuals, institutions, organizations, corporations and other entities that receive and administer CFGR research funds to establish mechanisms to educate all who are involved in the collection, recording, citing, reporting and retention of research material about their expectations for the highest standards of integrity. Mechanisms for meeting this objective should include encouraging awareness of the issues involved and establishing policies on specific areas. As appropriate, awareness might be encouraged by establishing information sessions on the principles and practices of research integrity for researchers, students and employees when they arrive in the institution and at regular intervals thereafter. Entities are encouraged to develop policies on such areas as requirements for authorship for publications or applications, on copyrights and patents, and on the responsibilities for retention of data.

    Investigating Allegations of Misconduct in Research

    Allegations may arise from anonymous or identified sources within or outside entities; the allegations may be well founded, honestly erroneous or mischievous. Whatever their source, motivation or accuracy, such allegations have the potential to cause great harm to the persons accused, to the accuser, to the entity in question, and to research in general.

    When contracting with the CFGR on commissioned research proposals and grant funding, the CFGR requires individuals, institutions, organizations, corporations and other entities that receive and administers CFGR research funds to demonstrate that appropriate impartial and accountable procedures have been established to:

    • receive allegations of misconduct in research;
    • conduct and document appropriate enquiries within an established time period;
    • protect the privacy of the person(s) accused and of the person(s) making the allegations as far as is possible given the need for due process in pursuing the enquiry;
    • allow the accused person(s) due process and full opportunity to respond to the allegations throughout the enquiry through mechanisms consistent with due process and natural justice;
    • decide whether or not there has been misconduct;
    • determine the actions to be taken as a result of conclusions reached, including:
      • any sanctions imposed;
      • any actions taken to protect or restore the reputation(s) or credibility of any person(s) wrongly accused of, or implicated in, misconduct in research, including procedures to ensure that if the charges have been dismissed copies of documents and related files provided to third parties have been destroyed;
      • any actions taken to protect the person(s) deemed to have made a responsible accusation.
    • inform the accused person(s) of the results of the enquiry and of the actions that have been decided upon;
    • prepare a written report on the above and make such report available for review by the CFGR.

    Allegations of misconduct made to the CFGR might involve past or present research grantees or those undertaking or who have undertaken research on behalf of the CFGR. Such allegations might also arise from the research funding and granting processes of the CFGR. In order to protect privacy, the CFGR will only transmit allegations of misconduct in research with the permission of the person making the allegations. The CFGR will not transmit oral allegations to the individual(s) and/or institution(s) involved, or otherwise act upon them, since these can not be assessed or transferred accurately.

    In the event that the CFGR identifies evidence of misconduct as part of its research funding and granting processes, the CFGR will request the entity or entities involved to carry out an enquiry and to inform the CFGR in writing of the outcome.

    The CFGR requests that entities that have carried out enquiries of alleged misconduct in research involving projects funded by the CFGR provide the CFGR with a written report of their findings. The CFGR will consider the report and may request clarification or additional information.

    In cases in which misconduct is concluded to have occurred, the CFGR will also consider imposing its own sanction(s) in relation to grants made and research funds provided to the individual(s) implicated and/or the entity or entities involved. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

    • refusing to consider future applications for a defined time period;
    • withdrawing remaining installments of the grant, award or funding; and/or
    • seeking a refund of all or part of the funds already paid or granted for the research.

    If such actions are being considered, the CFGR will provide an opportunity for the individual(s) and/or entity or entities involved to present a response.

    The CFGR will then inform the person(s) and/or the entity or entities involved of impending sanction.

    The CFGR retains the right at any time to bring a case to the attention of the appropriate legal authorities.

  3. Declaration Requirements

    The CFGR requires that all individuals and entities receiving CFGR research funds agree in writing to be bound by this policy.

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