Annual Statement on Research Integrity 2022

Lab work

Advice & guidance

Dr Martin Turner is the senior member of staff responsible for overseeing research integrity and is the Institute’s first point of contact for anyone wanting more information.

Mr Simon Jones is the confidential liaison for whistle-blowers or any other person wishing to raise concerns about the integrity of research being conducted under the auspices of the Babraham Institute.

Research integrity governance

The Institute’s Research Integrity Steering Group (RISG) reports to the Babraham Executive Committee (BEC). RISG is chaired by the Associate Institute Director Dr Turner and includes the following roles as members:

  • Associate Institute Director (Chair) - Martin Turner
  • Chief Information Officer – Cass Flowers
  • Head of Strategic Research Development and Graduate Studies – Ana Pereira-O'Callaghan
  • Head of Research Operations and Deputy Director, Operations – Danielle Hoyle
  • Human Resources Director – Andrea Last
  • Finance Director – Andy Hunt
  • Graduate Tutor – Peter Evans
  • Head of Bioinformatics – Simon Andrews
  • Named Information Officer representing Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) - Richard Berks
  • Tenured Group Leader and Head of Epigenetics Programme – Gavin Kelsey
  • Tenure Track Group Leader – Hayley Sharpe
  • Head of Communications – Louisa Wood
  • Contracts Manager – Heather Bath
  • Head of Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Quality Assurance of Research – Trevor Smith
  • Deputy Head of Health & Safety, Safeguarding, Quality Assurance of Research – Priya Schoenfelder
  • Web Services Manager – Mike Hinton
  • Information Management Librarian – Emily Pagano
  • Roving Researcher – Jayalini Assalaarachchi
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist – Chris Belton

The RISG has the remit to:

  • Play a leading role in building an inclusive and open culture which promotes rigorous and reproducible research
  • Promote awareness and reflection on the challenges of trust faced by scientists and to help identify ways of supporting colleagues to meet these challenges
  • Provide support for resolving disagreements between colleagues over the use of data before they escalate into allegations of misconduct
  • Coordinate formal investigations into allegations of misconduct

The Institute has in place a comprehensive overarching Research Integrity policy (based on grant awarding body, UK and worldwide research integrity standards) underpinned by a suite of Institute policies supporting research integrity, including a Code of Conduct; Research Misconduct; Authorship; Whistleblowing; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Use of animals in Research; Open Access; Data Protect and Research data protection.  These are available to all staff on the Institute’s intranet and with some policies available externally on the Institute’s website. To put this into practice within the framework of the Research Integrity assurance review, the following actions are in place to ensure open, ethical, rigorous and reproducible research.


  • A biannual research integrity (RI) assurance review to assess and ensure the Institute is achieving the standards set out in the Institute RI policy. A periodic review will provide structure to RI setup and act a good preparatory process for RI audits [by the Institute auditors (RSM)]. The review will include two levels: corporate (overall Institute RI standards) compliance review and individual (sampled) research groups ‘Good Research in Practice’ (GRiP), looking at RI standards compliance ‘in practice on the ground’. The review report will be presented to the Institute’s Executive Committee (BEC), Audit Committee and Science and Impact Advisory Committee in the first instance, and will help provide assurance to staff, BEC, Trustees, and grant awarding bodies.

Principles, Practices and Policies:

The Institute has in place policies, processes and activities to foster and support integrity in research practices, and these are reviewed regularly and developed to reflect changing needs. Progress in this area from 2021-2022 includes:

  • BI staff collaborated on 'A hands-on guide for Research Data Management in the Life Sciences;
  • Lay observers are invited to attend and participate in Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) meetings. In 2021, two observers attended an AWERB meeting, and one observer attended an AWERB meeting in 2022. 
  • Research Integrity questions have been added to recruitment interview questions for scientific roles.
  • A paper written by the Head of Research Operations and Deputy Director, Operations; ‘Authorship and Acknowledgement’ was published by EMBO press,
  • Staff complete ‘declaration of interests’ information.
  • The Project Office has worked to launch a new policies management system, 4Policies, which provides greater clarity around policies relating to staff members' specific roles through a personalised dashboard, with the potential for personalised communications. The software aids staff in searching for specific policies, submitting FAQs to policy owners and in finding associated documents such as legislation and departmental procedures.
  • An assessment of observance of the ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) in Institute-authored research publications. Followed by a a set of recommendations to the Institute’s AWERB and Research Integrity Steering Committee to ensure that the Institute is conforming to the highest level of compliance. This includes raising awareness of the guidelines, encouraging the use of the NC3Rs Experimental Design Assistant and reference to the guidelines as part of the Institute’s pre-publication review process.


The following activities aim to embed awareness of research integrity, develop required skills and create a safe, positive and supportive working environment:

From last year:

  • Ensuring all new PhD students participate in a talk on research ethics and integrity.
  • A checklist is provided to all student supervisors to ensure they discuss research ethics and integrity upon lab induction.
  • Staff induction includes responsible research practices and ethics.
  • Research Integrity presentation on research data management to Institute staff at the annual internal symposium
  • Research integrity and data integrity is highlighted on training courses run by the bioinformatics training team which include courses focused on research integrity itself, and practices that lead to robust scientific method and data interpretation such as scientific figure design, statistics, the management of biological data and use of electronic lab notebooks. The material for many of the courses are on the Bioinformatics facility training page at
  • The Institute has hosted seminars, open to all, given by external speakers with expertise in Research Integrity. In 2022 a seminar was given by: Prof. Florian Markowetz, University of Cambridge on “Five selfish reasons to work reproducibly”. This lecture was recorded and is available to staff on the Institute’s intranet.
  • Health, safety and wellbeing is well promoted to staff and managed by HSQAR and HR teams.
  • Ongoing promotion of safe and inclusive working environments, including the promotion of equality, diversity and belonging through our equity4success programme.


  • The Institute is committed to reducing the environmental footprint associated with our scientific research, and other work-related activities, at the Babraham Research Campus. Our environmental policy is being updated (in 2022) to clearly set out our sustainability vision.
  • The Institute continues to invest in energy efficiency measures to reduce both emissions and costs. In 2022 use of the Trigeneration plant saved over 294 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • The Institute’s Green Labs Steering Group designed and implemented Green Impact, and work to raise awareness of environmental issues in the Institute, across campus and within the wider scientific community. The team are also actively engaged with the local community, supporting actions with Babraham Primary School and village residents, such as the new Babraham Forest Garden project.

Managing research misconduct

The Institute’s Research Misconduct Policy is published on its website and describes the processes in place for managing an allegation of research misconduct against an individual or individuals working under the auspices of the Babraham Institute. The Policy describes processes for both initial and full investigations and refers to disciplinary action(s) that might follow from the investigations if it is determined that research misconduct has occurred. Timescales are included to ensure timely investigation of allegations. Consequent to the recent establishment of the Institute’s Research Integrity Steering Group this policy is under review in order to ensure that it meets all current needs, and a future iteration will include details of an appeals process.

Investigations of research misconduct

There have been no formal investigations of research misconduct in 2022.

The Institute received a single expression of concern for consideration, and this underwent preliminary evaluation but was determined to be poor academic practice and did not proceed to a formal investigation. The individual concerned undertook training.

This incident reinforced the importance of training for researchers in good data management practices.

Research environment

The Institute has a variety of forums to enable researchers to communicate their concerns in confidence, including procedures for reporting concerns of misconduct by a third-party employee at either Institute premises, or the premises of their employer. Such procedures can be found in the Institute’s Research Misconduct policy.

Awareness of how to express concerns and respond to poor behavior is being facilitated by participation in an ‘active bystander’ training programme. More than 200 staff attended this training at the Institute. There will then be an ongoing annual session of active bystander training for new Institute members and refresher training for existing staff. Staff also attended a relaunched Dignity at Work training.