I believe only when the highest standards of research integrity are upheld do we maintain the public’s trust in the research we conduct, support and administer. I expect that everyone involved in scientific research–investigators, trainees, administrators, and NIH staff–promotes these high standards. To assist the community in achieving these goals, OER recently developed a new Web page that explains research integrity and the processes that ensue from allegations of inappropriate conduct in research. On the new site you can learn about the definition of research misconduct, what is expected and/or required of investigators and trainees, and what happens when NIH learns of an allegation of research misconduct.
The site highlights the ways that the Department of Health and Human Services and NIH help promote research integrity through regulations, policies and requirements for receiving NIH funding. The primary examples of these are requiring every NIH-supported trainee to receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research, and requiring every PHS-supported institution to have in place a system for reporting allegations of research misconduct.
The responsible conduct of research plan for every training and career development grant application is assessed as part of the peer review of the application. There is not a defined curriculum or format, but each plan must address five components: format, subject matter, faculty participation, duration of instruction, and frequency of instruction.
Every institution that receives funding from the NIH, as a PHS agency, must have written policies and procedures in place for handling allegations of misconduct. This assurance is on file with the HHS Office of Research Integrity, under which all NIH-supported research falls for investigation of allegations of research misconduct.
Trust in the integrity of scientific results is fundamental to the US biomedical research enterprise. Everyone who takes part in this enterprise is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the research we conduct, support and administer. I hope you find the new site informative and useful.