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LSE/Russell Group code of practice on good research governance

Every member of the Russell Group is committed to the undertaking of well-managed research of the highest quality and integrity. As such, all confirm that they either have in place, or are developing and implementing, policies and procedures to create an effective, supportive and enabling environment for the undertaking and delivery of research, across all domains, to the satisfaction of their researchers, their institutions and their sponsor(s). Such policies and procedures are designed to ensure, as robustly as possible, that for all research activities:

  1. research proposals
  • are based upon academic cases of high quality and originality

  • have had proper consideration of all relevant and necessary financial, HR, ethical and legal issues

  • meet all other necessary institutional standards of quality;

  1. proposals are properly costed and priced;
     
  2. all ethical issues have been considered and requirements met, and all appropriate committee approvals obtained and any necessary documentation completed before any work commences;
     

  3. all declared, and potential, conflicts of interest have been considered, recorded and reconciled;
     

  4. the terms and conditions of funding of the activity are neither damaging to the institution corporately, nor contain unnecessary and unacceptable restrictive clauses having detrimental effects on the institution's future research and teaching;
     

  5. IPR issues have been fully considered as part of any grant or contract negotiation (e.g. Lambert draft contracts 1-5) with mechanisms in place for the long-term honouring of all agreements and rights (including duties of care to all concerned);
     

  6. the roles and responsibilities of principal investigators are clearly understood and accepted;
     

  7. robust and supportive project management is in place, appropriate to the scale of the project and with auditable trails of decision making on critical issues, with proper support for auditable through-life financial management and monitoring;
     

  8. all HR Issues are duly considered including the mentoring, training, and PDR of early-career researchers, contract researchers and all involved with each project (including the terms (and any costs) of unavoidable redundancies at the project close);
     

  9. policies on good research conduct are in place and followed (e.g. the avoidance of plagiarism and falsification of results);
     

  10. research results and data are recorded, dated and subsequently stored securely, preferably at a level higher than the individual. Wherever possible, archiving of data, research results and records will be in such a manner as to render results and data resistant to subsequent tampering and falsification (e.g. password protected archives for images, numerical data and other records);
     

  11. relevant to the level of financial support, the university recognises the importance of planning for the timely delivery of quality research to any funders irrespective of circumstances which change during the project (e.g. equipment failures, key staff leaving); conversely, sponsors of research must take responsibility for the through-life funding of projects once initiated;
     

  12. there is a mechanism to ensure the timely submission of reports, including the final report, and that there is a clear mechanism for the assurance of the quality of reports and their sign off;
     

  13. research outputs are disseminated as widely and as publicly as possible, especially to those who may benefit directly from them, and with due recognition to all the stakeholders who have contributed to the funding of each project. [For example, we note and support the recent RCUK position paper on 'Open Access'];
     

  14. there are mechanisms within the institution for the monitoring of all research outputs, including constantly striving for the best publication quality;
     

  15. following the initial agreement, or development thereof, there are clear mechanisms for the optimum capture/protection/sharing/exploitation of IPR;
     

  16. all legislative requirements and risks associated with each and every research programme are recognised and properly managed;
     

  17. all research takes place in an environment which is safe within the School with respect to all researchers involved, each institution and the public;
     

  18. there is a robust final financial accounting and sign-off procedure for project completion with clear acknowledgement of all the above points;
     

  19. within each institution, there is clarity about the allocation of responsibility for each of the above actions.

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