MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Recently THRiVE selected very promising upcoming researchers to be sponsored for PhD training and others for postdoctoral placements. This is a good time to reflect on how we will ensure that they acquire exemplary knowledge, skills and culture of responsible conduct of research.
We need to be pro-active in ensuring that none of our trainees or fellows, their supervisors and mentors engage in research misconduct. It is in the interest of everyone in the research industry, users of research and the general public to exercise zero tolerance for research misconduct. Doing otherwise would put at risk the public’s acceptance of and confidence in scientific and health research. We have an obligation to protect the integrity of research, lives, health and safety of the public.
As described elsewhere research misconduct encompasses research fraud, fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. Unfortunately these acts have been reported against high-profile researchers in prestigious institutions. Some of our academic institutions or research institutes may not have in place the necessary mechanisms for detecting and addressing allegations of misconduct. The DELTAS offers an opportunity to could be a vehicle through which this gap could be addressed. We should not wait to hear of allegations of research misconducts but should act to prevent acts of misconduct occurring. The DELTAS initiatives like THRiVE should take interest to find out the requirements of their different funders so that they can comply. Whatever the case each institution bears the responsibility for prevention, detection (the inquiry and investigation), and adjudication of alleged cases, and taking remedial/corrective actions for research misconduct associated with their own institution .
Each institution should have in place clear, transparent, accessible policies and guidelines, and mechanisms to guide researchers, administrators and other stakeholders.