Supporting research integrity

Research England, as part of UKRI, is a signatory of the Concordat to Support Research Integrity.

The concordat outlines five important commitments that those engaged in research can make to help ensure that the highest standards of rigour and integrity are maintained. It also makes a clear statement about the responsibilities of researchers, employers and funders of research in maintaining high standards in research.

This revised concordat represents a renewed ambition to further strengthen the concordat which was published in 2012. It provides the principles and commitments to ensure that research produced by, or in collaboration with, UK universities, research institutes and others undertaking research is underpinned by the highest standards of rigour and integrity. RCUK and the former Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) were both founding signatories of the Concordat published in 2012.

Universities UK revised the concordat with the funding and research councils, the Wellcome Trust and a number of government departments. It was launched on 25 October 2019.

Compliance with the concordat

Institutions eligible to receive research funding from Research Engalnd must comply with the concordat. This is a condition of receiving funds specified in Research England's Terms and Conditions of Grant (PDF).

In July 2019, Research England launched a consultation as part of its review of its Terms and Conditions of Grant. It invited views on compliance with the Concordat for Research Integrity to remain a condition of funding. The revised terms and conditions now also include a specific, explicit reference to the pre-existing expectation for higher education providers to notify us promptly of the outcome of all formal misconduct investigations conducted at the higher education provider. The summary of consultation responses are published below.

This condition follows the former HEFCE's consultation in 2013 on implementing the concordat. The consultation invited comments on the proposal to make compliance a requirement for institutions, and how this might best be monitored. The summary of responses and policy decisions are published below.

Research England can be contacted about compliance with the concordat at researchintegrity@re.ukri.org.

Summary of consultation responses

Summary of responses to Research England's consultation on terms and conditions of funding 2019-20 (PDF)

Summary of responses to 'Research integrity concordat: Consultation on proposed implementation from 2013-14' and policy decisions (PDF)

Impact assessment for compliance with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity

Impact assessment for compliance with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (PDF)

Commitments

As signatories to, and supporters of, the concordat, Research England is committed to:

  • upholding the highest standards of rigour and integrity in all aspects of research
  • ensuring that research is conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards
  • supporting a research environment that is underpinned by a culture of integrity and based on good governance, best practice and support for the development of researchers
  • using transparent, timely, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct when they arise
  • working together to strengthen the integrity of research.

Aims

The concordat will:

  • provide better coordination of existing approaches to research integrity
  • enable more effective communication of efforts to ensure that the highest standards of rigour and integrity continue to underpin all our research
  • encourage greater transparency and accountability at both institutional and sector levels
  • stimulate reflection on current practices to identify where improvements can be made.

List of signatories

  • Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland
  • Government Office for Science
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Scottish Funding Council
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • Universities UK
  • Wellcome Trust

List of supporters

  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Association of Research Managers and Administrators
  • British Medical Journal
  • Council of University Classical Departments
  • CREST: Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Government Office for Science
  • Medical Schools Council
  • Royal Musical Association
  • UK Research Integrity Office

Further information

Universities UK welcomes enquiries from new organisations that would like to recognise the concordat. For more information on how to join the supporters' network, email riconcordat@universitiesuk.ac.uk.

Read the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (PDF).