Research integrity at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
All Baker Institute researchers are required to foster and maintain a research environment of intellectual honesty and integrity, and scholarly and scientific rigour. They are required to adhere to all relevant codes of practice that apply to their work as well as the Institute’s values.
The Institute supports the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2007 and expects its staff to be aware of and comply with the requirements of the Code. The Code promotes integrity in research and explains what is expected of researchers by the community. Compliance with the Code is a prerequisite for receipt of NHMRC and ARC funding.
In support of the Code and in promotion of best practice research, the Baker Institute has also developed Research Conduct Policies. All staff and students are expected to be familiar with the Code and the Institute’s policies.
Our policies are designed to support a culture that demonstrates:
- honesty and integrity
- respect for human research participants, animals and the environment
- good stewardship of public resources used to conduct research
- appropriate acknowledgement of the role of others in research
- responsible communication of results.
In support of these principles, we are continually reviewing and improving our processes to ensure the highest standards of research conduct. In 2015, we engaged an external review of our processes. In response to the findings of that review, we have implemented a range of initiatives designed to support research integrity. These initiatives include rigorous oversight of data collection, validation and storage, more frequent auditing of clinical trials and broader supervision of research projects. Our additional governance processes form a 10 point plan designed to ensure the highest standards of research conduct already exercised by the Institute's researchers are universally maintained, and that the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute remains a leader in clinical research relating to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It is a condition of employment at the Baker Institute that all staff must comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research which is auspiced by The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), in partnership with the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia.
Depending on the nature of our researcher’s work, they may also be bound by the following codes and policies:
- National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007
- Values and ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research 2003
- AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies
- Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2007
- Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (State of Victoria)
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 (State of Victoria)
- Code of Conduct for Scientific Procedures Using Animals Under AMREP Licences
Clinical research Governance
- European Medicine Agency Note for Guidance on Good Clinical Practice (CPMP/ICH/135/95)
- National Statement on the Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)
- Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) Form
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
- Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007
- Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981
- Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006
- Radiation Act 2005
- Radiation Regulations 2007
Breaches of the Code, research misconduct, and the framework for resolving allegations
The Baker Institute takes allegations of research misconduct seriously and has formal procedures in place for receiving and managing such allegations in accordance with the Code.
The Research Office provides oversight of all aspects of the Institute’s research administration including animal ethics and research governance activities; research policy; research integrity and research strategy.
The office is also responsible for supervising administration of external, competitive research grants and identifying external, competitive research funding opportunities. In keeping with these responsibilities, the office provides advice and support for applicants to funding schemes by reviewing applications for compliance with funding rules.
Importantly, the office is responsible for managing the Institute’s compliance with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, including development and implementation of appropriate policies and systems to promote compliance.