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NSERC Report on Allegations Involving
Non-Compliance with Research Policies
Fiscal Years 2006-07 to 2010-11

The table below provides a statistical profile of allegations of non-compliance with research policies submitted to NSERC between April 2006 and March 2011. A total of 86 allegations were received, the majority submitted by individuals and peer reviewers. These allegations are related to non-compliance with NSERC’s research integrity and financial policies.

No allegations of violations of human ethics and animal care policies were received during this period.

Fiscal Year # of Allegations # of Allegations not Pursued # of Allegations Pursued      
TCPS-I Other Misconduct Found No Misconduct Pending
2010-2011 17 8 5 4 1 4 4
2009-2010 26* 16 7 3 2 7 1
2008-2009 17 10 4 3 2 5 0
2007-2008 11 5 2 4 1 5 0
2006-2007 15 9 2 4 2 4 0
Total 86 48 20 18 8 25 5

*includes 9 allegations from the same person against one individual.

Types of Allegations

Of the 86 allegations received since April 2006:

  • Twenty (23 percent) related to matters associated with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I), such as plagiarism, falsification of research results and fraudulent data;
  • Eighteen (21 percent) related to matters with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and other policies, such as lack of adherence to application guidelines or lack of adherence to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide; and
  • Forty-eight (56 percent) fell outside the mandate of NSERC or could not be pursued (see below).

Actions Taken by NSERC

Of the 86 allegations received since April 2006:

  • Thirty-four (39 percent) were referred to the institution for action or the institution was required to provide information;
  • Four (5 percent) did not involve an institution, and NSERC reviewed the file; and
  • Forty-eight (56 percent) were not pursued.

Reasons for not pursing an allegation include that it was not within the purview of NSERC, the information provided was insufficient, the allegation was withdrawn, and policies were misinterpreted and there was clearly no basis to proceed.

Results

Of the 38 allegations where a review was completed:

  • Eight (21 percent) were founded; it was confirmed that there was misconduct, and actions were taken by NSERC;
  • Twenty-five (66 percent) were unfounded; and no actions were taken by NSERC; and
  • Five (13 percent) cases are still pending.

Of the eight cases where misconduct was confirmed:

  • In one case, two students were declared ineligible to apply for and hold NSERC funding for a period of three years;
  • A student was declared ineligible to apply for and hold NSERC funding for a period of two years;
  • In one case involving a student, NSERC found that the institution’s actions were sufficient and no further action by NSERC was warranted;
  • In two cases, two researchers were declared ineligible indefinitely to apply for and hold NSERC funding and to participate in the peer review process and all other NSERC committees;
  • In one case involving a researcher, NSERC found that the institution’s actions were sufficient and no further action by NSERC was warranted; 
  • A researcher was declared ineligible to apply for and hold NSERC funding and to participate in the peer review process and all other NSERC committees for a period of three years; and
  • A researcher was declared ineligible to apply for and hold NSERC funding and to participate in the peer review process and all other NSERC committees for a period of five years and was declared ineligible indefinitely to hold or apply for funding for one specific program.
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