The importance of Research Integrity training
As we continue to drive and develop the UCC Research Innovation Strategic Plan 2017-2022, now more than ever, it is critical for the institution to uphold its excellent reputation in producing high quality research. An essential part of this aim is to continue to embed the principles of Research Integrity across UCC in line with the UCC Code of Research Conduct by the provision of quality training for researchers. The principles of the UCC Code of Research Conduct are based on both national and EU policy, namely the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland and the European-Code-of-Conduct-for-Research-Integrity-2017 respectively. Further to this, The HEA Principles of Good Practice in Research in Irish HEIs 2020 was launched by the HEA in February 2020. It contains the HEA’s seven elements of good research practice. These act as guiding principles for the institutions to incorporate into their specific research environments and outline that it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure researcher awareness of all relevant policies and to prioritise their adherence to these.
Research Integrity training is essential for researchers at all stages of their career, so that they understand their responsibilities in terms of good research practice. The HEA also emphasises that training on research integrity is necessary to support the translation of policy into practice and to ensure that all researchers fully understand their obligations and responsibilities at all stages of the research process. Senior leadership on the good and proper conduct of research, including ensuring that the institution research community is engaged with Research Integrity training, is vital to its embeddedness and effectiveness in each higher education institution.
The importance of Research Integrity is evidenced by the increasing significance Research Funding Organisations place on institutions’/Research Performing Organisations’ compliance with the principles, policies, and practices of Responsible Conduct of Research. Accordingly, most funders across the Irish research landscape require funded researchers to undergo training Research Integrity, and provide evidence of this training, as a condition of their funding awarded. The certification provided by the Epigeum Online Research Integrity Training has been of significance in meeting the requirements of Irish Research Funding Organisations.