Role of Research Integrity Advisors

What is a Research Integrity Advisor and what do they do?

Each faculty’s Assistant Dean Research serves as a Research Integrity Advisor.

Research Integrity Advisors provide advice to staff and students who have a concern about the conduct of research at UON. They can provide general information and advice about:

  • the responsible conduct of research at UON
  • the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research
  • UON policies and practices related to research
  • strategies that may help staff or students resolve any concerns they have about research conduct
  • how to lodge a concern for formal review.

Research Integrity Advisors do not:

  • advocate for or on behalf of anyone involved in a possible concern about research conduct
  • investigate or manage any formal allegations
  • manage or provide advice about sexual misconduct, bullying or harassment. For these matters, contact your supervisor, Head of School, Campus Care, Human Resource Services or Complaints Office.

When should I speak with a Research Integrity Advisor?

It is recommended that any concerns about the conduct of research be discussed at the local level first, ideally with the research supervisor.

You may find that concerns are based on simple misunderstandings, unintentional mistakes or other minor issues that can be quickly and easily addressed.

If you’re not comfortable going to the research supervisor or want independent advice, you can approach a Research Integrity Advisor to get confidential advice about an issue you think might be a breach of the Code.

You can also seek advice from the head of the research area, Head of School, or the Research Integrity Unit at researchintegrity@newcastle.edu.au.

Do I have to go to the Research Integrity Advisor in my own faculty?

No. While we suggest you approach your local Research Integrity Advisor (RIA), you can go to any faculty RIA, especially if you’re concerned about a potential conflict of interest or if your concern involves an interdisciplinary research project.

What type of information should I share once I approach a Research Integrity Advisor?

Before you raise concerns about the conduct of research, be prepared.

  • Read the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and make sure you can describe your concern and how it relates to the code.
  • If you’re seeking clarification or advice, talk in general terms initially. Making allegations against individuals without sound evidence could damage a person’s reputation and impact the status of their research project.
  • Share enough information to help the Research Integrity Advisor understand the situation and provide advice about different strategies to help resolve your concerns.

Will my conversation be confidential?

Yes. Research Integrity Advisors provide confidential advice to staff and students who may be unsure or have a concern about the conduct of research at UON.

However, they may:

  • take notes of your discussion so they can refer to them if a follow-up meeting is needed. These notes will be treated confidentially.
  • keep record of the number and types of enquires they receive, which can help faculties and the Research Integrity Office develop additional training and resources.
  • seek advice from another Research Integrity Advisor who has more experience in the nature of your concern, or if there is a potential conflict of interest.

If a Research Integrity Advisor becomes aware of serious issues in the course of your conversation, they may need to escalate the matter immediately. This includes matters that:

  • pose a possible threat to the health, safety or life of any person
  • could be a serious risk to the operations or reputation of UON
  • may be in breach of legislation or UON policies
  • may involve corrupt conduct or criminal behaviour.

Who are UON’s Research Integrity Advisors?

FacultyResearch Integrity Advisor
Faculty of Business and LawAssociate Professor Jamie Carlson
Faculty of Education and ArtsProfessor Philip Dwyer
Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentProfessor Christopher Kellett
Faculty of Health and MedicineProfessor Jodie Simpson
Faculty of ScienceProfessor Juanita Todd

You can also contact the UON Research Integrity Office for advice at researchintegrity@newcastle.edu.au.