Research Integrity

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Research integrity means conducting research in a way that allows others to have confidence that our research is founded on rigour and excellence, and is of the highest quality.

At the Institute it creates a framework whereby we can ensure that our science is the best it can be - undertaken with the highest quality expectations, relevance and reliability. This is achieved by ongoing improvement of the small and large practices involved in planning, recording and managing research, in addition to ensuring that it can be accessed, understood and used by others. Our research integrity practices also set the culture of the Institute as an inclusive, open and outstanding place to work.

Integrity across and beyond research is one of the Institute’s core values. Our work towards ensuring the highest standards of research integrity, ethical behaviour, good governance, inclusive culture and transparent ways of working is outlined below. This section brings together themes and initiatives from across the Institute that connect to our approach to research integrity.

This work is not static; we are striving to improve and refine our approach through a process of review and reporting in order that we and others can be confident in the Institute as a responsible and transparent research leader.

Any enquiries regarding research integrity can be sent to research.integrity@babraham.ac.uk

Principles, practices and policies

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Commitments and principles of research integrity

The Babraham Institute is committed to achieving excellence in all aspects of its research and upholds the commitments outlined in the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity (2019) and we make an annual statement in line with the Concordat’s requirements. The Institute expects its researchers to maintain the highest standards of research integrity, abiding by the seven principles outlined in the UK Research Integrity Office’s Code of Practice for Research.

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Commitment to responsible research assessment

As part of our commitment to research integrity and responsible research practices, we are committed to fair and responsible research assessment. The Institute signed the San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA) on 18 May 2018 and is developing an implementation plan to encourage and support responsible research assessment.

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Open science

Open science encompasses a spectrum of practices to ensure that scientific outputs are as open as possible for others to access, reuse and distribute. By doing this, open science helps uphold important features of research and innovation, such as transparency, openness, verification and reproducibility, across the whole lifecycle of research. The Institute has developed an action plan to support embedding open science practices in our organisation

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The use of animals in research

The research carried out at the Babraham Institute seeks to advance our understanding of the fundamental processes in our cells, and how cells and systems function differently as we age. In some cases, it is necessary to study or utilise biological responses that cannot be reproduced in tissue culture or investigated using alternative systems. This means that where there are no other alternatives, research involving mice and rats takes place at the Institute in line with our animal research policy.

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Research using human samples

Research using human samples is an important component of our research into understanding the biological mechanisms that control how we develop, grow, fight disease and function.

Policies

Babraham Institute policies

Policies relating to research integrity cover personnel policies and expected ways of working, how to raise issues, including about safeguarding young and vulnerable people or research misconduct, our Campus policy on the use of animals, and our equality, diversity and inclusivity policy

People

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Creating an inclusive, safe and respectful environment

All aspects of the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work at the Babraham Institute are united by our equality4success programme. We are committed to providing an atmosphere which is fair and inclusive, welcoming differences, and valuing and recognising the contribution and potential of all individuals at the Institute. We believe doing excellent science that benefits everyone can only happen if everyone has equal opportunities and access to a successful career within science.

Training

Training, supervision and support

The Institute believes that in order to achieve the highest standards of research integrity, training and support are key to ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and the Institute’s expectation. We support our staff and students throughout their career journey to make sure that we work together to meet these requirements.

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Collaboration

In 2020 we collaborated with colleagues from 96 organisations in 21 countries, indicating our expert contributions to global science. In working with both academic and commercial collaborators, we commit to upholding all ethical and legal requirements both of the UK and the country where the research is conducted.

The Babraham Institute is actively working to reduce our consumption of energy and resources by undertaking operations and equipment use audits, reducing waste, moving to renewable energy and taking proactive steps to reduce the impact of our research-related activities. Working with teams across the Institute and wider Campus we are making a positive impact, not only on the protection of the environment but to enhance it at this time of climate and ecological emergency. The Institute's activities in this areas are drawn together and coordinated by our Green Labs initiative.

Sustainability