Ethics and integrity

ANU is committed to the highest standards of research ethics and integrity. All staff and students are required to abide by the ANU Guideline: Conduct of Research, and all Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to undertake a compulsory online ANU Research Integrity course.

Useful ethics links

Any research that involves humans, animals or genetically modified organisms requires approval from the relevant Research Ethics Committee.

You should familiarise yourself with any ethics approvals you may need for your research as soon as possible as research must not commence until all relevant approvals have been obtained.

Find out more about research ethics requirements.

Useful research integrity links

The ANU Research Integrity course is compulsory for all research candidates. You must complete the exam within the first three months of candidature.

Each ANU College has a Research Integrity Advisor. Research Integrity Advisors provide advice about the responsible conduct of research and the University processes for dealing with allegations of research misconduct.

ANU provides several services to help you organise, manage, protect, and share your research data.

How do I make a research integrity related complaint?

ANU has established an informal process to manage problems that arise during HDR candidature. The most commonly reported problems are:

  1. Supervision relationships, including disputes about how to conduct research and interpersonal difficulties in the relationship itself.
  2. Attribution of authorship.
  3. Plagiarism.

Below is a description of the informal complaint resolution process at ANU. We encourage you to keep a written record of any actions and decisions at each point in the process for future reference.

Step one: Ascertain the nature of the problem by consulting the ANU Policy: Code of conduct and the ANU Guideline: Higher degree by research - University, candidate and supervisor responsibilities. If you are not sure that you have a valid complaint, you can seek advice and assistance from a Research Integrity Advisor in your college and/or the The Dean of Students. If your complaint relates to a dispute about authorship or plagiarism you should follow the ANU Procedure: Authorship disputes. If the complaint relates to the harm of animals or people, or to financial fraud, you should go straight to step three.

Step two: If the problem is interpersonal in nature, try to resolve it with the person involved first and/or your supervision panel. If you are not comfortable doing this, consult with the HDR convenor in your local area, who is tasked with overseeing HDR candidate wellbeing. If the complaint is about a party external to ANU, the HDR convenor can offer some advice on how to escalate it appropriately. If you are not sure who the HDR convenor is in your school, you can email gro@anu.edu.au

Step three: If you are not satisfied with the solutions offered to you by the HDR convenor, or they advise you that your complaint needs to be escalated, consult the Associate Dean HDR in your college (AD HDR). A role description that sets out the responsibilities of this person can be found on the ANU Guideline: Associate Dean Higher Degree Research webpage. This person can help resolve more serious internal complaints and escalate any complaints you have with the actions of people outside of ANU.

Step four: If no resolution can be found through steps one to three, you can consult with the Dean HDR who has oversight of all HDR candidature matters and policy.

If, after you have taken the above steps, you wish to make a formal complaint in relation to supervision, ANU has a clear procedure on student complaint resolution.

Further information

For further information on what constitutes a complaint and the procedures around resolution, please refer to the following:

Foreign arrangements and foreign interference

Foreign arrangement and foreign interference policies help safeguard academic freedom, values and research collaboration. These are unlikely to affect you as an HDR candidate. However, if your research involves collaboration with researchers or governments overseas you may need to declare it to the Foreign Interference Advisory Committee (FIAC). Further advice can be found on the What is Foreign Interference and Foreign Arrangements SharePoint site.