The UKRI policy on the governance of good research practice sets out expectation on and support for individuals and organisations to take responsibility for good research practice and contribute towards a positive research and innovation environment for high integrity outcomes. The policy should be considered in conjunction with the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity, to which RCUK and HEFCE were founding signatories.
NERC, as an employer of researchers, is required under the terms of the Concordat to publish its own annual narrative statement, which is agreed by the NERC leadership team. This sets out how NERC fosters a positive research environment and declares reported incidents of formal misconduct involving NERC employees.
NERC report 2021 to 2022
As a constituent council within UKRI, which is a publicly funded body, NERC recognises and embraces its responsibility to promote ethical behaviour and good conduct in research. Together with other UKRI councils, and the UK research community more broadly, we are committed to national leadership in this area, identifying, articulating and implementing best practice.
We aim to go beyond existing legislative requirements, to minimise our environmental impact, and to promote equality and diversity. NERC’s responsible business statement sets out four priority areas:
- Environmental sustainability: enhancing our positive environmental impact and minimising harm
- Social responsibility: engaging and supporting our community, while promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in the environmental science sector
- Responsible decision making: acting in a transparent and fair way across our business practices, with partners that share our ethical values
- Responsible research: research with integrity, carried out by a diverse and outstanding body of researchers.
Under the ‘responsible research’ priority area we are committed to carrying out research to the highest standards. NERC hosts a research culture forum to support sharing between its centres and wider funded partners and from 2021 to 2022 provided specific training to funding managers. The UKRI policy on investigating allegations of misconduct in research applies to NERC and is held on the Oracle Knowledge Base and UKRI website, so it is accessible by all staff. As employers, NERC’s research centres include good research conduct and misconduct as part of their induction programmes for new staff.
For the year 2021 to 2022 there was one allegation of misconduct in research involving a NERC-employed researcher, this was not upheld on investigation. Concerns relating to the conduct of NERC-funded research or researchers should be directed to the host institution in the first instance. Concerns relating to the conduct of NERC-funded research or researchers can also be reported directly to: