Supporting research integrity

RCUK and the former HEFCE were founding signatories 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.

Universities UK developed the concordat with the funding and research councils, the Wellcome Trust and a number of government departments. It was launched on 11 July 2012.

Compliance with the concordat 

Institutions eligible to receive research funding from the former HEFCE must comply with the concordat. This is a condition of receiving funds specified in institutions’ funding agreements.

This condition will apply from 2013-14 and follows the former HEFCE’s consultation earlier in that year 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.

The former HEFCE set out information and guidance for institutions. This includes the former HEFCE’s view of compliance and advice on finding additional information.

Research England can be contacted about compliance with the concordat.

Summary of responses to ‘Research integrity concordat: Consultation on proposed implementation from 2013-14’ and policy decisions

Download the Summary of responses to ‘Research integrity concordat: Consultation on proposed implementation from 2013-14’ and policy decisions

Impact assessment for compliance with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity

Download the Impact assessment for compliance with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity

Commitments

As signatories to, and supporters of, the concordat the former HEFCE was committed to:

  • maintaining 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, robust and fair processes to deal with allegations of research misconduct should they arise
  • working together to strengthen the integrity of research and to reviewing progress regularly and openly.

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 Employment and Learning 
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England 
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales 
  • National Institute for Health Research
  • Research Councils UK 
  • Scottish Funding Council 
  • 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, Innovation and Skills
  • 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 Concordat.

Publications