The University expects academic integrity from its employees at all times and in all circumstances. Employees may not engage in actions that constitute research misconduct in research or other scholarly activity.
Employees and other individuals who are involved in research, scholarly, and artistic activities under the aegis of the University must adhere to Board of Regents Policy: Academic Misconduct and must cooperate with the assessment and review of any allegation.
The University provides several ways to report suspected research misconduct. Employees and students may consult privately with an appropriate University official before deciding whether to submit an allegation of research misconduct. These steps are outlined under Administrative Procedure: Handling Reports of Research Misconduct.
If an allegation of research misconduct is made, the Research Integrity Officer (RIO) for the University pursuant to federal regulations will coordinate the review in the following stages:
- an allegation assessment to determine if the policy applies and if the allegation is sufficiently specific to warrant review;
- if appropriate, an inquiry to determine whether the allegation or related issues warrant further investigation;
- when warranted, an investigation to thoroughly examine evidence; and
- a finding and appropriate personnel action. If the investigation results in a finding of misconduct and a subsequent personnel action against the respondent, the respondent may request a formal hearing by following other University employment policies and procedures, as applicable.
The University prohibits retaliation against persons who in good faith report suspected misconduct, including research misconduct. More information on retaliation, reporting retaliation concerns, and the consequences of filing intentionally false reports, is found in Administrative Policy: Retaliation, https://policy.umn.edu/operations/retaliation .
Scholastic dishonesty by a student in the performance of academic work or sponsored research is a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Complaints of alleged scholastic dishonesty are resolved in accordance with established collegiate and Student Conduct Code policies and procedures. However, as required by federal regulations, in cases where a student is accused of misconduct while working on federally sponsored University research, the question of whether research misconduct occurred will be determined according to this policy and the sponsor's regulations.
Notification and Reporting Requirements
Many sponsors, including the National Science Foundation (45 CFR 689) and the Public Health Service (42 CFR 50) have published regulations regarding the inquiry and investigation of allegations of misconduct involving activities they are considering for funding or have already funded. These regulations contain requirements to report to these sponsors under certain conditions and at specified stages in the process. The Deciding Officer for the University is responsible for the preparation and submission of any required notifications or reports. In addition, for Public Health Service proposals and awards, the University will also work with the Office of Research Integrity to assure compliance. If there is a reasonable indication of possible criminal violations, the Deciding Officer must notify the appropriate office of the sponsoring agency, and the appropriate law enforcement officials.
Interim Administrative Action
As provided by federal regulations (42 CFR, part 50, subpart A and 45 CFR, part 689), at any stage in the process of inquiry, investigation, formal finding, and disposition, the University may take interim administrative action to protect federal funds.
Only those individuals with a need to know in order to perform their job duties will have access to research misconduct cases, as these are confidential proceedings. Disclosure about the status and outcome of the case is made in accordance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
Allegations of misconduct that occurred seven or more years prior to the submission of the allegation will not be considered unless the circumstances indicate that the alleged conduct was not reasonably discoverable earlier.
Reason for Policy
To implement Board of Regents Policy: Academic Misconduct and to comply with federal regulations on research misconduct.