March 2, 2007

SUBJECT: Updated Summary Statement of University Policy Related to Conduct of Research

Deans, Directors, Department Chairs and Administrative Officers:

The campus policies, definitions, and procedures regarding research misconduct were first distributed to the Campus on December 22, 1988. Since such policies are required to conform to federal regulation 42 CFR, the Berkeley policy has been revised when the federal regulations have changed. The first such revision was made in 1998, followed by a second revision in 2003. On June 16, 2005, the federal government issued a newly revised version of its research regulations pertaining to research misconduct, 42 CFR Part 93. Consequently, our Campus policy must be updated to conform to this new version of 42 CFR. Although the updated version of the Berkeley Campus Research Misconduct Policies and Procedures involves some alteration in language, the new federal regulation 42 CFR Part 93 does not require a change in the substance of Berkeley's policies and procedures or the process whereby the Campus responds to allegations of research misconduct.

As you know, federal regulations require that the University assume primary responsibility for prevention, detection, and investigation of research misconduct and take action to ensure the integrity of research, the protection of the rights of research subjects and the public, and the observance of legal requirements related to federal research funding. Individual agency regulations differ in wording and emphasis. Information about the policies of particular federal agencies is available from the appropriate research coordinators in the Sponsored Projects Office.

University policies establish standards of ethical behavior for all members of the University community and prescribe procedures for due process and discipline for deviation from those standards. The policy and procedures on Research Misconduct, attached, deal with violations of a subset of these standards and apply to prohibited conduct in proposing, carrying out and reporting research. Specifically, Research Misconduct procedures are invoked when allegations are reported of:

  • Fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism, in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results;
  • Failure to comply with requirements for the protection of human or animal subjects


Policies and procedures for dealing with other violations of ethical standards, such as misappropriation of University or sponsor resources, intentional breach of University rules or sponsor regulations, or failure to follow financial disclosure disqualification regulations can be found in:

Faculty Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures for the Berkeley Campus
Academic Personnel Manual Section 015, Part II, "Professional Responsibilities, Ethical Principles, and Unacceptable Faculty Conduct"
Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate Graduate Council's "Fairness of Authorship Credit in Collaborative Faculty-Student Publications"
Whistleblower Policy and Whistleblower Protection Policy

Principal Investigators have primary responsibility for the design, execution and management of research projects they direct, and must be vigilant in seeing that the standards of professional and ethical conduct are maintained in all phases of their projects. In order to protect both the integrity and the autonomy of the University, it is crucial that researchers assume these high standards and that in the event of allegations of misconduct the campus administer a fair system of review. Suspected violations of ethical standards should be reported immediately to the Dean, Vice Chancellor, the Chancellor, the Office of Student Conduct, or Internal Audit Offices, as appropriate. If extramural funds are suspected to be involved, the Sponsored Projects Office must be informed immediately to assure timely compliance with sponsor regulations.

A copy of the research misconduct policies and procedures are attached. If you need further assistance, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Price by email or call (510) 642-1049.

Beth Burnside
Vice Chancellor for Research