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 in maintaining high standards in research.

The 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.

The 2019 revision of the Concordat was informed by publication of the report into research integrity published by the Commons Science and Technology Committee in July 2018.

As a signatory 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.

Implementation of the concordat

In line with UKRI’s terms and conditions for funding, it is a condition of grant for all higher education providers eligible to receive research funding administered through Research England to have in place procedures for governing good research practice, and for investigating and reporting unacceptable research conduct, that meet the requirements set out in the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (2019) https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2019/the-concordat-to-support-research-integrity.pdf and UKRI Policy and Standards https://www.ukri.org/about-us/policies-and-standards/research-integrity/, and any subsequent iterations of those documents. UKRI will assess compliance with this condition on an ongoing basis.

We expect higher education providers to notify us promptly of research misconduct which could reasonably be considered to be directly or indirectly supported by our funding. Higher education providers are expected to notify Research England when an allegation is referred for formal investigation, and the outcome of any formal investigations of research misconduct (1). Higher education providers are not expected to report cases to Research England where funding from other councils of UKRI supports the activity, and which are already reported by higher education providers to the appropriate Research Council.

Research England can be contacted about implementation of the concordat at researchintegrity@re.ukri.org.

Full details of the information required in any notification, including the type of information, how the information will be handled, stored and used, and how this requirement to report misconduct to Research England relates to other reporting mechanisms can be seen here: https://re.ukri.org/documents/2020/policy-and-guidelines-on-the-reporting-of-formal-investigations-of-research-misconduct/.

Further information on supporting research integrity is available on the UKRI website.

Research Integrity Committee

In 2018, the Commons Science and Technology Committee published its report of an inquiry into research integrity. A key recommendation was that UKRI set up a national research integrity committee.  The Government and UKRI responded to the Commons Committee report, and UKRI is exploring how best to establish the national research integrity committee under its auspices.

Research England will work with colleagues across UKRI in the development of the Research Integrity Committee. We will seek to align with the constituent bodies of UKRI once the Committee is operational.

Impact assessment for compliance with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity

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

List of concordat 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 concordat 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).


[1] Full details of the information required in any notification, including the type of information, how the information will be handled, stored and used, and how this requirement to report misconduct to Research England relates to other reporting mechanisms can be seen here: https://re.ukri.org/documents/2020/policy-and-guidelines-on-the-reporting-of-formal-investigations-of-research-misconduct/