Research integrity

VU Researcher

We provide a range of resources and services to support the VU researcher to ensure all research activities involving VU are conducted in a responsible and ethical manner including:

Our research development strategy promotes a culture of research committed to responsible and ethical research practices and the open exchange of ideas, freedom of expression and inquiry. We promote multidisciplinary research collaborations and connect our research with market and community needs in Australia and overseas.
Research and research training at VU reflects the following values:

  • Rigour and excellence in critical inquiry
  • Innovation, relevance and impact
  • Integrity and ethics in research conduct
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Intellectual fulfilment.

Responsible conduct of research in Australia

We adopt best practice in managing the conduct of research and ensure all research at VU complies with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Code has been jointly developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and Universities Australia to assist the responsible conduct of research in universities and other public sector research institutions.

Research integrity at VU

Research includes any activity associated with an investigation that is undertaken to gain original knowledge, understanding or insight, or the development of new products and processes that have application or uses in society. VU Research Integrity Policy encompasses seven broad areas of research conduct that are underpinned by nine principles for the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

Areas of research conduct

The seven broad areas of research conduct are outlined in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. They include:

  • management of research data and primary materials
  • supervision of research trainees
  • publication and dissemination of research findings
  • authorship
  • peer review
  • managing conflicts of interest
  • collaborative research with organisations and individuals outside VU.

Principles for the responsible and ethical conduct of research at VU

VU is committed to the principles and values underpinning responsible and ethical research. We aim to ensure that all staff and students undertaking research:

  • respect and protect human research participants, animals and the environment
  • protect the privacy and confidentiality of research participants
  • design, conduct and report research findings in an ethical and safe manner
  • ensure research material and data is safely and securely stored, retained and disposed of in an appropriate manner
  • encourage and respect freedom of expression and enquiry
  • accurately and honestly report findings within a reasonable time
  • acknowledge the role of others in research
  • are not influenced or affected by conflicts of interest
  • respond to concerns about research integrity in a fair and timely manner.

If you have an issue or concern related to research involving VU, please contact a Research Integrity Officer (RIO). RIOs are experienced VU researchers who have volunteered to provide confidential and independent advice to students, staff and people outside VU who are concerned about research involving VU.

A RIO can

  • provide confidential and independent advice
  • help you identify and clarify the issues based on areas of research conduct, principles and values of responsible research, and/or other issues impacting on, or directly connected to research
  • provide information to help you make an informed decision about your options / how to proceed
  • provide a limited personal opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a particular course of action and/or the options available.

Beyond this a RIO cannot take any further action or role in the matter.

A RIO cannot

  • act as an advocate, represent or promote your interests
  • provide advice as to the likely outcome, or how you must proceed
  • express an opinion on behalf of VU or any other person
  • investigate the matter, or take any steps to obtain further information about the facts or issues
  • make a complaint or take any action on your behalf
  • solve the problem for you.

You do not have to identify yourself, and can be assured that all communications with a RIO will remain confidential. A RIOs obligation to maintain confidentiality is ongoing and continues after the completion of the matter.

Contact a Research Integrity Officer

Dr Nick Billington
Phone: +61 3 9919 1076

Associate Professor Mikel Duke
Phone: +61 3 9919 7682

Dr Michael Mathai
Phone: +61 3 9919 2211

Professor John Orbell
Phone: +61 3 9919 8066

Dr Mark Vicars
Phone: +61 3 9919 2052

Mail to:
PO Box 14428 Melbourne
Victoria 8001