The RMH's research integrity advisors are a key resource for advice and support with regard to research integrity and misconduct, as well as our processes and procedures relating to research integrity.
What is a research integrity advisor (RIA)?
RIAs are persons who are leaders in their field and have extensive research experience.
An RIA is someone in the organisation that you can ask for help if you have questions about research integrity or if you have concerns about the conduct or in collaboration with research at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH).
What does an RIA do?
RIAs promote research integrity and responsible research practices at RMH.
RIAs are appointed to provide guidance and advice to staff and students on responsible research practices as outlined in the Code, organisational policies and procedures, and other guidelines and legislation relevant to their disciplines.
RMH staff and affiliates who may be unsure about the conduct of research being conducted at RMH or in collaboration with RMH should consult with an RIA to obtain:
- Advice on responsible research conduct
- Awareness of the options available to resolve a matter locally
- Details of the process for making a formal allegation of research misconduct
RIAs will keep a log of the number and types of queries they receive and report this to the research integrity officer on a quarterly basis to assist with the development of training and additional support resources.
What doesn't an RIA do?
RIAs do not undertake any of the following:
- Act as an advocate for or on behalf of any person
- Make contact with the person who is the subject of your concern
- Investigate or manage any formal concerns pertaining to or allegations of research misconduct
- Provide advice if it is a matter where they perceive they have a conflict of interest, and/or
- Manage issues of sexual harassment or bullying
For these types of matters, staff or students should consult with their supervisor, another senior staff member, human resources representative or contact the research integrity officer.
In the event the RIA has identified a conflict of interest, they will refer you to another impartial RIA to assist you.
When should I speak with an RIA?
Any person including researchers, staff, students, members of the external community, may speak with an RIA if they:
- Are in need of confidential advice about an issue that they think may be research misconduct
- Are unsure about a research conduct matter
- Need information about RMH policies and procedures related to research misconduct, or
- Would like to obtain some independent advice from someone who is not in their Department
What should I do before meeting with an RIA?
It is a good idea to prepare for the discussion:
- Familiarise yourself with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018
- Be able to describe your concern and how it relates to this document
- Bring any evidence with you that support your concern
Note: Meeting with an RIA is not an investigation. The above points may assist the RIA to gain a better understanding of the situation and be able to provide you with more timely and accurate advice.
If you would like to bring a support person with you to meet with the RIA this is permitted but make sure you let the RIA know you are doing this in advance.
Be advised there may be times when the RIA may need to consult with other experts about the best way for you to proceed and this may mean follow-up and further meetings to ensure you receive the best advice possible.
Will an RIA tell anyone about our discussion?
Your meeting with an RIA is confidential. However, you should be aware that the RIAs - and all staff at the RMH - have a responsibility to report certain events including where they involve:
- Risks to the health, safety or welfare of a person, including but not limited to bulling, harassment or vilification
- Risks the security or reputation of the RMH
- Has the potential to interfere with evidence that might relate to the allegations, or
- Demonstrates other circumstances considered to be serious enough to warrant immediate action
At all times, if this does happen, provisions will be put in place to protect your privacy and confidentiality.