Mr Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many non-medical scientists have been found to have committed research misconduct in the last 30 years.
Mr Willetts: The Government is committed to maintaining the highest standards of propriety in publicly funded research.
For example, Research Councils UK, as signatories to the Universities UK Concordat to support research integrity, expects all individuals engaged in research-including researchers themselves, support staff, managers and administrators-to abide by its principles and foster a supportive and open environment.
While the Research Councils (RCs) do not have records for the past 30 years, RCs have identified recent non-medical cases as follows:
1 No recent cases identified. 2 Since 2010. Note: Figures for non-medical scientists identified by the Medical Research Council are those cases which have not been investigated separately by medical regulators.
RCs are only made aware of research misconduct if a case is passed to them by an HEI which has been unable to resolve a case with the researcher in question, RCs are not responsible for investigating cases sector-wide. It is the responsibility of Higher Education Institutes (HEI) to investigate research misconduct among their employees. HEFCE ensure that HEIs have adequate policies and procedures that are adhered to, and have recently formalised that arrangement through financial memorandums.