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Research Governance

This section provides information on academic integrity, research ethics and intellectual property rights.

Section contents:


40. In defining research there are differences in emphasis across disciplines, but the following is a core and generic definition drawn from the University’s Research Integrity & Governance Code of Practice: deepening and broadening of knowledge and understanding by expert, responsible and professional means, including the dissemination of results through publication, teaching, applied research and consultancy.

41. The University requires that all its researchers maintain exemplary standards of professionalism, academic practice, rigour and honesty in every aspect of research. To support this, the University has in place a Research Integrity & Governance Code of Practice and associated research ethics guidelines, which take into account policies and guidance originating from UK and international agencies, funding bodies and professional societies. The Research Integrity & Governance Code of Practice and associated guidelines apply to all research carried out under the auspices of the University, including that by students.

42. The Research Integrity & Governance Code of Practice includes key statements on honesty and care:

.1 ‘Researchers must be honest in respect of their own actions and in their responses to the actions of other researchers. This includes honesty in the presentation of research goals, intentions and findings; in reporting on research methods and procedures; in gathering data; in using and acknowledging the work of others; in conveying valid interpretations and making justifiable claims based on research findings. Researchers must not engage in nor conceal misconduct and have a responsibility to report potential incidences of misconduct in an appropriate manner. The repercussions of failing to behave honestly in any of these, or other, actions can be widespread and may be regarded as a disciplinary offence’.

.2 ‘Care and respect must be extended to all participants in and subjects of research, including humans, animals, the environment and cultural objects.  Researchers should address any concerns relating to the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of all involved in research. Those engaged with research must also show care and respect for the stewardship of research and scholarship for future generations’.

43. All students engaged in research should familiarise themselves with the Research Integrity & Governance Code of Practice and the Student Guide to Academic Integrity and observe the relevant provisions they contain.

44. Responsibility for research conduct and integrity in their research degree programme resides with the student, with guidance from their supervisors. Additional support is provided through training.

45. Ethical issues are overseen by the University Research Ethics Committee, supported by a network of designated Ethics Officers. Each School is obliged to consider the nature of potential ethical issues in the conduct of its research, ensuring that appropriate records of projects, decisions and practices are kept, including those related to students’ research.

46. Where possible, the approach to ethical review of research degree projects should be reflective and have both monitoring and training aims: to build professional attitudes; improve the quality of the research; and assure the student and the University that potential risks are considered and addressed.


47. As a general principle, the University recognises the student as the owner of any intellectual property (IP) they are solely responsible for producing whilst a registered student of the University.

48. In some circumstances, however, a student will be required to assign ownership interest in IP to the University or to a third party, usually under the terms of studentship funding.

49. In other circumstances, the student’s supervisors and/or other members of the research group in which the student is based will contribute to the creation of IP. In order to maximise the prospect of successfully commercialising the IP, the student will be encouraged to assign ownership rights to the University on the same basis as academic staff (which will include a share of any revenues generated from successful commercialisation).


50. The Research Integrity & Governance Code of Practice outlines the University’s policy on the storage, retention and preservation of research data, and applies equally to both staff and students.

51. Students leaving the University must ensure that appropriate provisions are made within their School for the continued retention, storage and where applicable, provision of access to their original research data and records/or copies.

52. Students wishing to retain original research data and records/or copies must seek consent from their supervisor, and ensure that there are no restrictions in their funding agreement or assignments which would prevent them from doing so. Where personal data is included, students must consult with the University’s Data Protection Officer prior to the removal of research data.

53. A member of staff in the School shall be identified to take on responsibility for the research data. This responsibility will revert to the student’s supervisor if no other member of staff is identified.