Research Integrity

NUI Galway is committed to promoting and supporting the highest standards of integrity by all those engaged in the University’s research mission and activities.  We promote an understanding of research integrity through learning, training (see below) and mentoring opportunities and support the development of researchers in this regard.  

:: Policy

The University’s Research Integrity Policy (QA514) (Updated December 2021).

  • States the University’s commitments to foster and ensure research integrity
  • Sets out the principles of good research practice and research integrity – Reliability, Honesty, Respect and Accountability.
  • Characterises research misconduct, without giving an exhaustive definition of such misconduct; and
  • Outlines the principles that underpin transparent, fair and effective procedures for dealing with allegations of research misconduct when they arise.

:: Best Practice

The Policy is in line with best practice recommendations set out in the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland (2019) and the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2017).  The key principles in the policy are:

  •  Reliability in ensuring the quality of research - reflected in the design, the methodology, the analysis and the use of resources.
  • Honesty in developing, undertaking, reviewing, reporting and communicating research in a transparent, fair, full and unbiased way.
  • Respect for Researchers (including research students), research participants, society, ecosystems, cultural heritage and the environment.
  • Accountability for the research from idea to publication, for its management and organisation, for training, supervision and mentoring for its wider impacts.

In order to underpin this Policy and to embed the principles of good research practice into the conduct of research, Research Integrity training is provided for all researchers, across the Research Career pathway. See more below.

:: Breaches of Research Integrity - Research Misconduct

Failure to comply with good research practice violates professional responsibilities and poses a reputational risk to the University. Where the principles of good practice underpinning research integrity are not followed, a breach of Research Integrity (i.e. Research Misconduct) may arise.  Research Misconduct takes many forms and can be of varying seriousness. The most serious examples of Research Misconduct are:

  • Fabrication – making up results and recording or reporting them as if they were real and/or true.
  • Falsification – manipulating research, materials equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results without justification such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  • Plagiarism – using other people’s work, results, words or ideas without giving proper credit to the original source, thus violating the rights of the original author(s) to their intellectual outputs.

The University is committed to ensuring that all allegations of research misconduct are investigated.  Detailed procedures for the investigation of allegations of Research Misconduct are outlined in the Procedure for the Investigation of Research Misconduct

:: Research Integrity Officer (RIO)

The RIO is responsible for receiving and acting upon allegations of misconduct in research in accordance with the principles outlined above and the NUI Galway Procedure for the Investigation of Research Misconduct (Dec 2021).

(Note, January 2022 - Killian Dooley is the University Research Integrity Officer.  A successor will be appointed in Q1 2022.)

:: Research Integrity Training 

Free online training in Research Integrity is available to all research staff and students at NUI Galway.  The online training course (Research Integrity Version 2.0) is provided by Epigeum (Oxford University Press) and is comprised of the following 8 core sections: Good Research Conduct, Irresponsible Research Practices, Planning your research, Managing and recording your research, Data selection, analysis and presentation, Scholarly publication, Professional responsibilities, and Communication & Social Responsibility. A further 5 specialist modules are available: Conflicts of Interest, Research involving human participants, The care and use of animals in research, Intellectual property and Export controls.

This course is suitable for researchers from all disciplines. Discipline-specific activities and options are embedded throughout the modules. The 5 disciplines referred to throughout the course are:  Arts & Humanities, Biomedical Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering and Social Sciences.

The following are recommended nationally as comprising a “complete course” for researchers at different career stages:

Early-stage researchers: Core modules 1-8 (Comprehensive)
(Suitable for post-graduate researchers, research assistants and post-doctoral researchers <4 years post-PhD)

 Experienced researchers: Core modules 1 and 2 (Concise)
(Suitable for academic staff, Research Fellows, Post-doctoral researchers with 4+ years’ experience post-PhD and other research staff with evidence of equivalent years of research experience, as per EU guidelines*)

 *Towards a European Framework for Research Careers

 If you would like to access the online course, please contact researchintegrity@nuigalway.ie

Is it compulsory to complete training in Research Integrity at NUI Galway?

It is strongly recommended that all researchers at NUI Galway complete training in Research Integrity. Research Integrity training is now mandatory for some funders, to be completed within 6 months of start date of grant. Please check the Terms & Conditions of your funding body for detailed requirements. Once you have completed the online training, please retain a copy of your Certificate of Completion, to be available if requested by funder.

I am a Principal Investigator/Supervisor at NUI Galway, what are the requirements for me in Research Integrity training?

It is recommended that experienced researchers complete Module 1: Good Research Conduct and Module 2: Irresponsible research practices. To access the course, please email researchintegrity@nuigalway.ie

I am a post-graduate research student and wish to complete Research Integrity training as a module. Is it possible to complete this training as a module?

Yes, post-graduate research students can register for Module GS5110 to complete Research Integrity training as a module. To obtain 5 ECTS credits you must complete the online course (Core Modules 1-8), Complete the assignment and Research Student Supervisor Agreement (Found here: GS Modules - NUI Galway) and attend an interactive workshop.

Where can I find out more about Research Integrity workshops?

The Research Integrity workshop is available to post-graduate students who have registered for Module GS5110. Workshops dates will be available via Blackboard to all students who have registered for GS5110. The workshop covers NUI Galway Research Integrity policies and procedures and involves interactive discussion and group work. Please note that workshops may take place virtually.

I am a post-graduate student and I already have enough ECTS credits. Is it possible to complete the training without registering for the module?

Yes, it is recommended that all post-graduate students complete the online course in Research Integrity (Modules 1 to 8). This is available to complete at any time. Please email researchintegrity@nuigalway.ie to get access to the course.

As a post-graduate research student completing this training as a module, what do I need to do to obtain 5 ECTS Credits?

To complete the module and achieve 5 ECTS Credits, you must:

1. Register for GS5110. Please note this module is available in Semester 1 only.
2. Attend an interactive workshop in Research Integrity. These will be advertised on Blackboard after you have registered for GS5110. Please note that workshops may be held virtually.
3. Complete the online training Research Integrity (Epigeum) – all 8 core modules must be completed and all MCQs must be passed (achieve >80%)
4. Complete the assignment and Researcher-Supervisor Agreement

I attempted the online course previously and failed the MCQ. Can I try again?

Yes, you can log in again at any time and re-take the MCQ. There are unlimited attempts allowed. Your last attempt will be recorded as your final score. (This relates to anyone who has registered for Research Integrity Version 2.0 from August 2021 onwards).

Do I need to complete the online course in one sitting – is my progress automatically saved?

You can log in and out of the course as many times as necessary. Once you complete a module and achieve >80% this will be saved. Please note, your progress will not be saved within a module - you will need to remember which section you were working on previously and continue on from there.

I have completed this training previously at NUI Galway/at another institute – do I need to take part in this training again?

If you completed the Epigeum training within the last 3 years, you do not need to complete this training again, provided you can provide evidence of completion.

I tried to register for Epigeum online training but I did not receive the activation email. What should I do?

Please check your Junk Mail folder for this email. If you still can’t find it, please log a query with https://www.epigeum.com/epigeum-technical-support/.

I have been asked for a token when registering – where can I find this?

Please email researchintegrity@nuigalway.ie to receive your token.

I registered for this course last year but did not manage to finish the course– will my account still be active?

 Access to the previous verison of Epigeum Research Integirty training ends on 31-08-21. If you have not completed the course prior to this date, you will need to register again and complete the updated version of the course.

How do I download my “Certificate of Completion”?

 Once you complete the relevant course and achieve >80% in the MCQ, the download button beside the course will become available. Please click to download your pdf certificate. A certificate is available for each module and also for the overall course. The certificate for the overall course is required for the Module GS5110 in Research Integrity. 

Which online course do I need to complete?

 The following are recommended nationally as comprising a “complete course” for researchers at different career stages:

All core modules 1-8 for early-stage researchers: Post-graduate researchers, Research assistants, research associates, early post-doctoral researchers (< 4 years post-PhD)

Core modules 1 and 2 for experienced researchers (Academic staff, Research Fellows, Post-doctoral researchers with 4+ years’ experience post-PhD, other research staff with evidence of equivalent years of research experience, as per EU guidelines)

For more information on Researcher Career stages please see the Researcher Handbook developed by the Researcher Development Centre: Researcher-Handbook_16.04.2020.pdf (nuigalway.ie)

What are the “Specialist Modules” listed on the Epigeum Platform?

 Specialist Modules 1-5 are optional and can be completed as standalone modules at any stage. The modules cover the following topics: Conflicts of interest, Research involving human participants, The care and use of animals in research, Intellectual property and Export controls. Each Module can be completed as a standalone course and a Certificate of Completion can be downloaded once the MCQ has been successfully passed.