About RCR Policy and FAQs
Find answers to questions about how to implement RCR policy in research activities.
Photo: Western College of Veterinary Medicine
To talk about the RCR Policy or to make a complaint, you can contact any of the following people:
The RCR Policy applies to all University Members involved in research.
- University Members include faculty, librarians, professors emeriti, sessional lecturers, staff, trainees, clinical faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, adjunct professors, visiting professors, visiting scholars, professional affiliates, associate members, residents, and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs).
- Research includes but is not limited to the following scholarly activities:
- the activities leading to the preparation and publication, in either traditional or electronic format of scholarly books, articles, theses, reviews, translations, critical editions, bibliographies, textbooks and pedagogical materials;
- creative works in drama, music and the visual arts, including recordings, exhibitions, plays and musical compositions in all forms;
- literary works in prose, poetry and drama; and
- contract research and consultancy contracts.
Breaches of the RCR Policy happen while someone is engaging in research while Student Academic Misconduct usually happens in activities associated with course based activity. However, this is not always straightforward.
Research activity may be required as an element of an academic program, and therefore, it is possible to breach the RCR Policy while completing an element of an academic program. Activities categorized as research activity for the purposes of determining whether an allegation naming a student respondent is investigated under the RCR Policy include but are not limited to:
- Preparation and submission of funding applications, research and projects supported by the Tri-Agencies or other research funding organizations
- Contract, consulting or industrial research;
- Activities that are part of course-based research that requires review by a Human or Animal REB;
- Preparation of an Undergraduate Thesis, Masters Thesis or PhD Dissertation
- Original investigations to apply existing knowledge in a novel way; to produce new products, devices, systems and services, offer improvements over those already produced or installed;
[Adapted from the University of Waterloo]
To make a complaint about a breach of the RCR Policy, contact:
- should be in writing,
- include detail about the alleged breach, the location and time of its occurrence
- include all available documentation
- contain enough information to permit a determination of whether the alleged conduct would constitute a breach of the Policy and
- to permit further information gathering about the alleged breach.
To make sure you have all the information needed to make a complaint, please fill out the RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH (RCR) ALLEGATION SUBMISSION form.
- Yes, the Tri-agencies require that Universities accept anonymous allegations.
- Anonymous allegations will be considered only if all relevant facts are publicly available or otherwise independently verifiable.
- If all relevant facts are verifiable, the AVPR or Senior Administrator will initiate an Inquiry to determine whether the complaint should be dismissed or investigated.
- Anonymous complainants are not entitled to participate or receive information on any part of the outcome.
Many members of the University can access support through their collective agreements and Associations.STUDENTS
- All students are encouraged to contact Student Affairs and Outreach for support.
- Graduate Students should contact the Graduate Students Association (GSA).
- Undergraduate Students should contact the University of Saskatchewan Student’s Union (USSU)
- There is a right of appeal on limited grounds.
- If the RCR policy has been breached by a student, the hearing board will determine the consequences.
- If the RCR policy has been breached by a faculty member, the hearing board may make recommendations for sanctions, however the relevant Senior Administrator (usually the Dean) will determine the discipline or consequences as outlined in the USFA Collective agreement.
- If the RCR policy has been breached by a university member with a collective agreement, the hearing board may make recommendations for sanctions, however the sanction will be determined as outlined in the relevant Collective agreement.
- If the research is funded by the TriAgencies, the University must make a report to the Secretariate on Responsible Conduct of Research. The report will be reviewed and the TriAgencies will determine their own sanctions in addition to those imposed by the University.
- If the Inquiry determines that the allegation involves significant financial, health and safety or other risks, research activity may be suspended by the AVPR or the Senior Administrator in consultation with the AVPR.
- If the Inquiry phase determines that a hearing will be held to investigate an alleged breach of the RCR Framework or any other responsible conduct of research policies such as ethics, integrity or financial management policies, respondents must temporarily withdraw themselves from participation in any Agency review processes until the hearing is complete and a determination is made by the Agency whether they can resume their participation.
Is it possible for a respondent to acknowledge that they have breached the policy without going to a hearing?
- Yes, If the Respondent agrees to the facts alleged in the Allegation, the AVPR or Senior Administrator may conclude the Inquiry or Investigation if there is sufficient evidence in support of the acknowledgement.
- The Respondent must sign a written statement attesting to the occurrence and extent of the breach, acknowledging that the statement was voluntary and stating that the Respondent was advised of the right to consult an Advocate.
- Discipline or other consequences will be determined as outlined in the relevant collective agreement or if the Respondent is a student, the AVPR will empanel a Hearing Board as described in Section 4.0 of the procedures to determine what discipline or other consequences are warranted after receiving written statements regarding potential consequences and/or sanctions from each of the parties.