Professor Timothy John White
Universities are bastions of scholarship where truth is derived from the empirical analysis of facts, as they can best be assembled. Universities are also intensely competitive environments. At times, the conflicting currents of perseverance and ambition turbulently trigger research misconduct and unethical behavior. But the descent into misconduct is rarely contrived and the boundary between good and bad practice can be imprecise. How does the solid publication rate of an academic degrade to superficial salami-sliced fragments? When does the pursuit of research grants to enhance productivity become an exercise in accumulating resources as an end in itself? Why do researchers, who would never make false representations to obtain a bank loan, enhance laboratory data to win research grants? There are no simple answers, but universities worldwide are developing systems to educate their faculty, staff and students to avoid risky comportment. To this end, the Research Integrity Committee provides a forum where representatives from the university community can share their concerns, develop best practices and design instructional programs. With the support of the RIC, I hope all staff and students will observe the Confucian maxim that 'the strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home' and play their part in promoting honest and ethical conduct.
Professor Theng Yin Leng
Research integrity is a fundamental requirement for all research-intensive universities. With the recent creation of the Research Integrity and Ethics Office (RIEO) in NTU, we aim to establish the mechanisms to promote and ensure the highest standard of integrity and ethics in all aspects of research and graduate education. There could be many practical imperatives to enforce compliance. However, it is our ultimate goal that the drive to embrace the highest research integrity and ethics comes intrinsically from one's ethical and moral standing.
Network of Research Integrity Points of Contact: Terms of Reference
- To provide a forum for NTU research integrity points of contact to exchange information, experiences and views;
- To make recommendations to NTU senior management with regard to the development of the NTU research integrity policy;
- To advise on the implementation of research integrity policy decisions, with special reference to educational programmes and mentoring;
- To lead and support the implementation of research integrity policy matters;
- To conduct any other business relevant to the development and strengthening of research integrity at NTU.
- The Committee will be chaired by the Vice President (Research) and, in his/her absence, by a designated Research Director(s) (President's Office).
- A senior representative from each College, School, Research Institute, Autonomous Institute conducting research, and the URECA programme shall be appointed as both a member of the RIC and as the Research Integrity Point of Contact (RIPOC) for their respective unit. Normally, the Associate Chair (Research) or equivalent will be appointed.
- Observers from other relevant groups including the Associate Provosts (Faculty Affairs and Graduate Education), the Deputy Associate Provost (Information & Knowledge) or his/her representative, the Chief Information Officer or his/her representative, and the Chief Planning Officer or his/her representative shall be invited to attend RIC meetings.
- The Research Integrity Officer will be in attendance and the Research Integrity and Ethics Office (RIEO) will provide the Secretariat.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Research Integrity Point of Contact
- To act as the formal conduit for information on the University’s research integrity policy and its implementation between the College/School/Autonomous Institute/Research Institute or other appropriate unit and the President’s Office acting through the Vice President (Research) and the Research Integrity Officer. The RIPOC will ensure that Deans, Chairs and Directors, as appropriate, are kept fully aware of NTU policy development in research integrity;
- To provide the focal point within the College/School/Autonomous Institute/Research Institute or other appropriate unit for advice, information and mentoring/education and, in so doing, to be familiar with the details of educational programmes developed by the University in the area of academic and research integrity;
- To liaise with the Research Integrity Officer with regard to any allegations of breaches of the research integrity received by the RIPOC and assist in any further investigations, as appropriate;
- In particular, the RIPOC is expected to be familiar with the contents of the on-line Epigeum Research Integrity programme, based on the edVenture platform provided by CELT, and to develop mentoring and tutorial sessions to supplement in the online programme in a blended learning environment. The RIPOC will be expected to liaise with the Research Integrity Officer to develop “road-shows” in research integrity for faculty, research staff and graduate students;
- The RIPOC will receive all notifications from OHR, and local HR units as appropriate, and from GSO with regard to those faculty, research staff and graduate students who, following reminders, have failed to sign the Research Integrity Declaration and to follow up with the individuals concerned to ensure compliance;
- The RIPOC will ensure that all persons involved in developing external research collaborations, whether in Singapore or abroad, are aware of the NTU research integrity policy and include a standard clause on research integrity in all agreements;
- The RIPOC is expected to contribute pro-actively to the development of the NTU Research Integrity policy through participation in the Network of Research Integrity Points of Contact (NORIPOC) chaired by Vice-President (Research).
Members of the Research Integrity Committee
Research Integrity Points of Contact (RIPOCs) are located in the various Schools and departments within NTU to provide research personnel throughout the University with easy access to persons who will act as the reporting authority in the event you wish to highlight any suspected research misconduct. The current list of colleges / schools / institutes with RIPOCs are as indicated below.