E. Investigations of Allegations of Scientific Fraud
Faculty Handbook Revision Approved by the Executive Committee November 1991
- The Office of the Dean of the College shall be responsible for the receipt of allegations regarding scientific misconduct and will be responsible for their proper handling.
- "Misconduct in Science" means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data. Upon receipt of allegations of scientific misconduct the Dean shall order an immediate inquiry into the matter to be conducted by a designated representative and the Faculty Affairs Sub-committee of the Executive Committee.
- Such inquiry will be completed within 60 calendar days including the submission of a written report to the Dean.
- The Office of the Dean shall maintain detailed documentation of any inquiries for at least three (3) years, which must, upon request, be provided to authorized Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) personnel.
- If findings from an inquiry provide sufficient basis, a formal investigation shall be initiated within 30 calendar days of the completion of an inquiry. Such an investigation shall be conducted by impartial experts appointed by the Dean upon the recommendation of the Faculty Affairs Sub-committee and shall be completed within 120 calendar days.
- Due precautions against real or apparent conflicts of interest in an inquiry or an investigation shall be taken.
- The affected individual(s) shall be accorded confidential treatment to the maximum extent possible, a prompt and thorough investigation, and an opportunity to comment on allegations and findings of the inquiry and/or the investigation.
- The Public Health Service's (PHS) Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shall be informed at the outset of the determination to have a formal investigation.
- Should a reasonable indication of possible criminal violations be discovered, OSI shall be informed within 24 hours.
- Documentation to substantiate an investigation's findings shall be maintained by the Office of the Dean for at least three (3) years after PHS acceptance of the final report.
- The Dean shall take appropriate interim administrative actions to protect Federal funds and ensure that the purposes of the Federal financial assistance are being carried out.
- The Dean shall promptly advise OSI of any developments during the course of the investigation which disclose facts that may affect current or potential Department of Health and Human Services funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that the PHS needs to know to ensure appropriate use of Federal funds and otherwise protect the public interest.
- Upon completion of an investigation, the Dean shall make efforts to restore the reputations of persons alleged to have engaged in misconduct when allegations are not confirmed and to protect, to the maximum extent possible, the positions and reputations of those persons who, in good faith, make allegations of scientific misconduct, and those against whom allegations of misconduct are not confirmed.
- Appropriate sanctions shall be imposed on individuals when the allegation of misconduct has been substantiated.
- The Dean shall notify the OSI of the final outcome of the investigation with a written report that thoroughly documents the investigative process and findings.
- The Dean shall inform the College's scientific and administrative staff of these policies and procedures and the importance of compliance with them.