Responsible Conduct of Research

Canada’s research granting agencies—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada—are committed to fostering and maintaining an environment that supports and promotes the responsible conduct of research.

On December 5, 2011, they officially launched the new Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research. This new framework is an umbrella document that describes agency policies and requirements related to applying for and managing agency funds, performing research and disseminating results. It also outlines the process that institutions and the agencies follow in the event of an allegation of a breach of agency policy.

This new framework replaces the previous integrity policy and related documents, including the Tri-Agency Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I, 1994), the Framework for Tri-Council Review of Institutional Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research (1996) and the Tri-Agency Process for Addressing Allegations of Non-compliance with Tri-Agency Policies (2010).

It is important to note that:

    1. Effective December 5, applicants, grantees and awards holders are required to comply with the new Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research and all the policies contained within it.
    2.  To ensure full accountability and transparency for the proper use of public funds in supporting research, the agencies now require all researchers applying for funding to provide a Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information, allowing the agencies (subject to applicable laws, including the Privacy Act, and in cases of a serious breach of agency policy) to publicly disclose:
      -the name of the researcher;
      -the nature of the breach;
      -the name of the institution where the researcher was employed at the time of the breach; and
      -the name of the institution where the researcher is currently employed.
    3. The new Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research will be responsible for ensuring a coherent and uniform approach to promoting the responsible conduct of research and addressing allegations of breaches of agency policies.  The panel will be responsible for governing and implementing the new framework, with support from the new Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research (previously the Secretariat on Research Ethics).

For more information about the new framework, including a message from the tri-agency presidents and some highlights of the new framework, please visit the panel website or contact the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research at secretariat@rcr.ethics.gc.ca.

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