9.4.1 Research Misconduct Procedure

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Chapter 9: Grants and Sponsored Projects

9.4.1 Research Misconduct Procedure 


Related Minnesota State Board Policy: None
Related Minnesota State Board Procedure: None

Purpose:  To ensure Normandale fulfills its responsibilities for prevention and detection of research misconduct in grant-funded projects by outlining processes for training and certifying Principal Investigators (PIs), Co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs), and other senior personnel and for responding to allegations of research misconduct.

Part 1: Training and Certification
 

The Office of Grants & Sponsored Projects will:

  1. Post Federal research misconduct regulations and information.
  2. Communicate with, and provides training to, grant-funded PIs, Co-PIs, and Senior Personnel on appropriate Federal policies and Normandale procedures relating to research misconduct.
  3. Require grant-funded PIs, Co-PIs, and Senior Personnel to certify during the proposal transmittal process that they:
    a. Have read and understand Federal research misconduct regulations as provided by Normandale.
    b. Will not engage in fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
    c. Will report any suspected incidents of research misconduct to the Director of the Office of Grants & Sponsored Projects or to Minnesota State general counsel.
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Part 2: Suspected Incidents of Misconduct
 

If the Office of Grants & Sponsored Projects receives notification of suspected incidents of research misconduct, the Director will meet with Normandale’s Vice President of Finance & Operations, Vice President of Human Resources, and Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost to determine the best course of action. During this meeting, the decision will be made to conduct an inquiry or investigation using either Normandale or Minnesota State personnel.

Regardless of which entity conducts the research misconduct proceedings, the following process will be followed:

  1. Initiate an inquiry into any suspected or alleged research misconduct and complete the inquiry within 60 calendar days from its initiation. Decide whether an investigation is warranted
  2. Notify the Federal agency in writing within 30 days if an initial inquiry finds substance and an investigation will be initiated or during the investigation:
    a. If required by the Federal agency.
    b. If there is reasonable indication of possible violations of civil or criminal law.
    c. If public health or safety is at risk.
    d. If the Federal agency’s resources, reputation, or other interests need protecting.
    e. If Federal action may be needed to protect the interests of a subject of the investigation or of others potentially affected.
    f. If the research community or the public should be informed.
    g. If research activities should be suspended.
  3. Conduct a subsequent investigation, if the inquiry finds substance, and complete it within 150 calendar days from the date it was determined the inquiry warranted an investigation.
  4. Keep the Federal agency informed during the investigation.
  5. Take appropriate interim actions to protect the agency- supported research process.
  6. Prepare written reports on results of inquiries and investigations and provide the Federal agency with the final written reports.
  7. Cooperate with the Federal agency during any research misconduct proceeding or compliance review, including providing research records and evidence.
  8. Administer and enforce any administrative actions imposed on Normandale or its employees by the Federal agency.
  9. Prior to notifying the subject of the allegation of the inquiry or investigation, take all reasonable and practical steps to obtain custody of all of the research records and evidence needed to conduct the research misconduct proceeding, inventory the records and sequester them in a secure manner.
  10. Take all reasonable and practical steps to obtain custody of all of the research records discovered during the inquiry or investigation, inventory the records and sequester them in a secure manner.
  11. File all reports and assurances with the Federal agency as requested by the agency.
  12. Maintain records of research misconduct proceedings for seven years from the date of the final completion of the proceeding.


Normandale will provide appropriate safeguards for subjects of allegations as well as complainants, including but not limited to:

  1. Providing written notice to the subject of the allegation at the time of the inquiry,
  2. Providing an opportunity for the subject of the allegation to submit written comments on Normandale’s inquiry findings,
  3. Providing an opportunity for the subject of the allegation to submit written comments on Normandale’s investigation findings and considers those comments before issuing a final report,
  4. Where appropriate, giving the subject of the allegation copies of, or reasonable, supervised access to, the research records, and
  5. Taking reasonable and practical efforts to protect or restore the reputation of the subject of the allegation against whom no finding of research misconduct is made.

Normandale will limit the disclosure of the identity of the subject of the allegation and complainants in research misconduct proceedings, to the extent possible, to those who need to know, to the Federal agency and as allowed by law.


Employees who report suspected fraudulent or other dishonest acts pursuant to Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Policy 1C.2 and Minnesota State Statute 181.932 shall be protected from retaliation. The identity of other information sources shall be protected when required by Minnesota State Statutes 181.932 and/or 13.392.

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  Policy History:
Date of Adoption:  4/02/2019
Department / Owner: Grants
Date and Subject of Revisions:
Next Review Date:  4/02/2023
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