Applicants applying for funding from any of the three federal research agencies are required to consent to the public disclosure of personal information in the event that they are found to have engaged in a serious breach of Agency policy.
In determining whether a breach is serious, the agency will consider the extent to which the breach jeopardizes the safety of the public or brings the conduct of research into disrepute. This determination will be based on an assessment of the nature of the breach, the level of experience of the researcher, whether there is a pattern of breaches by the researcher, and other factors as appropriate. Examples of serious breaches may include:
Obtaining grant/award funds from the Agencies by misrepresenting one’s credentials, qualifications and/or research contributions in an application.
Based on the consent provided, the Agency may publicly disclose any information relevant to the breach that is in the public interest, including:
The relevant agency will publish this information on its website and through additional communications as determined by the relevant Agency President.
The Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information applies to Canada’s three granting agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
The Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information process applies to all programs of the agencies where researchers receive funds and have to agree to comply with agency policy.
7) Is this an element of the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (the RCR Framework)?
The disclosure of personal information is included in the RCR Framework, which was released on December 5, 2011.
The Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information became an integral part of the regular application process for agency programs on November 17, 2011. The process applies to all applications received on or after that date. Consent is now required for an application to be submitted.
No. This requirement only applies to applications received on or after November 17, 2011, and to the awards made for those applications.
Applicants will have to agree to the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information for all applications submitted to the Agencies.
If an applicant refuses to agree with the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information, the application will not be accepted by the agency. Should an individual participating in a group application refuse to agree to the consent, the application would have to be submitted without the name and participation of said individual.
Yes, if the employer is an eligible institution that has signed the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.
Students applying for financial support from any of the Agencies’ programs will have to agree to the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information.
No, because the agencies do not have a direct relationship with these students. However, these students are subject to institutional integrity and other responsible conduct of research policies.
Cases of serious breach are extremely rare in Canada. The vast majority of researchers conduct their research with rigour and integrity. General statistics on the number of allegations of breaches of Agency policies are available on the Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research website.
Integrity policies and processes differ greatly from one country to the next. A number of countries are releasing the names of researchers found to be in serious breach of policy through various central bodies, institutions, etc.