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Annual Statement to the University's Board of Governors

The University’s Research Compliance Committee (RCC) sets standards and ensures that the University meets its obligations to comply with the statutory, regulatory and policy requirements within its scope.  It reports to the University’s Planning and Resources Committee and is chaired by the Associate Vice President for Compliance, Risk and Research Integrity who reports directly to the President & Vice Chancellor and Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer. 

Annual Statement of Research Integrity 2018-2019

New Developments in Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity

  1. We have implemented mandatory research integrity training for all PGR students and staff whose role involves research.  The training is delivered online by an external company called Epigium.  PGR students are required to undertake a five hour extensive course, while staff are required to undertake a one hour comprehensive course, although encouraged to look through the longer course.  There is an expectation that training should be repeated every three years. 
  2. We have developed an online research ethics training course for supervisors in the Faculty of Humanities which aims to improve their understanding of research ethics.  This training will enable supervisors to provide the correct guidance and support to their students.  A similar training package is currently under development for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Sciences and a package for the Faculty of Science and Engineering is planned.
  3. The Manchester Clinical Trials Unit (MCTU) transferred successfully to The University of Manchester on 1st August 2018.  Research Compliance Committee is now overseeing regulatory compliance for this new area of responsibility.

Investigations into Allegations of Research Misconduct and complaints received between June 2018 to May 2019

Staff/student

Faculty

Nature of complaint

Status

Staff

BMH

Image manipulation (clinical data)

No formal investigation – dismissed.

Staff

BMH

Delaying the publication of research

No formal investigation – dismissed.

Staff

HUM

Ethics breach

No formal investigation – dismissed.

Staff

BMH

Image manipulation

Referred to another institution, as not University of Manchester research.

Staff

BMH

Image manipulation

No formal investigation – dismissed.

Staff

BMH

Plagiarism

No formal investigation - dismissed

Student

BMH

Withholding of research data

No formal investigation – referred to another process.

Staff

BMH

Falsification in the reporting of research results

No formal investigation - resolved through mediation.

Former Staff

HUM

Plagiarism and Piracy

Proceeded to formal investigation - ongoing

Student

BMH

Deception in reporting research

No formal investigation - dismissed

Student

FSE

Fabrication of data

No formal investigation – referred to another process.

Former Student

BMH

Deception in reporting research

Proceeding to formal investigation.

 

Annual Statement of Research Integrity 2017-2018

New Developments in Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity

  1. Since the fire at the Paterson Building housing the CRUK MI animal facility (BRU), the facility has successfully relocated to Alderley Park.  The facility is owned and managed by AstraZeneca.  During 2018, a new small facility is being developed in the Kay Kendall laboratory at the Christie Hospital.  This is for the transplantation of time-critical tumour samples to form patient-derived xenograft and circulating tumour cell derived xenograft models.  The facility is currently undergoing temperature and humidity testing ahead of it being added to the CRUK MI Establishment Licence.  The Home Office Inspector has toured the facility and is comfortable with the plans.  Relatively few mice will be housed there and, following a period of recovery, will be transferred to the facility at Alderley Park.
  2. Research Compliance Committee has taken responsibility for oversight of export controls in order to comply with the UN requirements to have a system of controls on exports of certain goods and technologies that, in addition to legitimate civilian applications, may also be misused for severe human rights violations, terrorist acts or the development of weapons of mass destruction.  Appropriate processes are being put in place by the University to ensure that individual academics who need an export licence from the Export Control Organisation (ECO) in order to carry out an activity related to their research have the appropriate licence in place.
  3. In 2015/16 we implemented an on-line ethical review process for the University’s ethics committees which provided a more efficient and user-friendly experience for applicants.  In May 2017 we introduced ‘proportionate review’ for low-risk projects in order to make further efficiencies.  Since proportionate review was introduced 155 applications have gone through this process.  As these applications are initially reviewed within 10 working days of receipt, it has reduced the average turnaround time for UREC approval from 27 working days to 16 working days.  This has saved the Committees 212 hours of work (including 19 meetings).
  4. The University’s strong commitment to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research is reflected in its ground-breaking animal research website developed over the past two years which publishes anonymised non-technical license summaries and ethics committee minutes, welfare policies, case studies, governance information, and infographics on the species and numbers of animals we use every year.  It was given an openness award in 2016 by “Understanding Animal Research”, a respected not-for-profit organisation which aims to achieve a broad understanding of the humane use of animals in research.  The website forms the core of an animal research communications and engagement strategy which the University published in April 2018 as a UK first.  It will also shortly be the only UK University website to host a virtual tour of its animal facility, which enables viewers to navigate their way around 12 different rooms, clicking on icons to open video content.
  5. The introduction of the chemical inventory, LabCup, is showing a positive impact on the quality and safety of research being carried out.  The implementation of the inventory is identifying many out-of-date chemicals and their disposal ensures that better quality research is undertaken using only chemicals within their expiry date and increased safety, as the storage of hazardous substances in the labs is being reduced.

Investigations into Allegations of Research Misconduct and complaints received between June 2017 to June 2018 

Staff/student

Faculty

Nature of complaint

Status

Staff

FSE

Deception in conducting research

Upheld

Staff

BMH

Plagiarism

Dismissed after formal investigation

Staff

BMH

Potential image manipulation

Proceeded to formal investigation - ongoing

Former Staff

BMH

Data manipulation

Proceeded to formal investigation - ongoing

Staff

BMH

Plagiarism and research fraud

Proceeded to formal investigation - ongoing

Former Student

HUM

Fabrication of quotes and evidence

No formal investigation - dismissed

Staff

BMH

Data manipulation

No formal investigation - dismissed

Staff

BMH

Image fabrication

No formal investigation - dismissed

Annual Statement of Research Integrity 2016-2017

New Developments in Research Governance, Ethics and Integrity

  1. In 2015/16 we implemented an on-line ethical review process for the University’s ethics committees.  The Ethical Review Manager (ERM) provides a more efficient and user friendly experience for staff and students at the University of Manchester.  Since the implementation of the system the average time for processing a UREC application has been reduced from 51.5 days (2015/16) to 20 days (2016/17).  Further reductions are anticipated with the implementation in May 2017 of proportionate review for low-risk staff or student projects.
  2. We are supporting the transfer of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) Clinical Trials Unit from the Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust into the University of Manchester.  Professor Thakkar has chaired a Research Governance Working Group responsible for creating an assurance and compliance framework for the CTU including defining clear roles and responsibilities.  He is now chairing a Transition Strategy Group which will ensure these are implemented.
  3. In order to support the University’s growing clinical trials portfolio, the University has entered into contractual arrangements with partner NHS Trusts to provide Sponsor Pharmacy support and support for monitoring clinical trials.
  4. The University purchased a Chemical Inventory System in February 2017 to provide a single, consolidated management system for records of chemicals and other harmful substances, lasers and X-ray machines as well as radiochemicals and those regulated materials which require reporting.  The inventory will also facilitate compliance reporting which currently is done entirely manually.  The implementation across the University is ongoing after a successful pilot phase, which identified over 120 litres/Kg of legacy hazardous substances (mostly corrosive and flammables) to be disposed of in one building, thereby reducing the ongoing risk to the organisation.  Further reductions of legacy stocks would be expected in the rest of the buildings as the inventory rolls out.

Investigations into Allegations of Research Misconduct and complaints received between September 2016 to May 2017 

Staff/student

Faculty

Nature of complaint

Status

Hon Staff

BMH

Misrepresentation and breach of duty of care

Ongoing

Student

BMH

Piracy

Ongoing

Staff

BMH

Plagiarism and data misrepresentation

Ongoing