The field of research integrity is defined by responsibility and care for the relationships on which the discovery and dissemination of knowledge depends, and the impacts of the conduct of research on the people, places and things for whom, and on which, the research has effect.
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) works collaboratively with research ethics and animal ethics committees as well as individual researchers, under the auspices of the senate ethics in research committee (EiRC) and senate animal ethics committee (SAEC) (see below), to promote responsible conduct of research and in particular to foster ethics in research.
Two separate Senate-level committees provide dedicated oversight and make and implement policy regarding research ethics and related matters for research:
- The Senate Ethics in Research Committee (EiRC) for the ethics of research involving human subjects
- The Senate Animal Ethics Committee (SAEC) for animal ethics.
The university Senate, through its committees, is also responsible for policy-making in areas such as:
- responding to allegations of scholarly and scientific misconduct
- disclosure and management of actual and potential conflicts of interest in teaching and in research
- permission to access UCT students and staff as research participants.
Each faculty has a research ethics committee and, where appropriate, an animal ethics committee, that reviews research proposals and ensures adequate deliberation and adherence to ethical standards.
Research involving human participants or animal use for both research and/or teaching must undergo ethics review, according to faculty-specific guidelines. A review generally entails prior approval of a research proposal by a research ethics or animal ethics committee. Where prior approval is not appropriate, the research proposal should be subjected to appropriate deliberative procedures, according to faculty-specific guidelines.
- All UCT-based or affiliated researchers are responsibile for ensuring that policies are implemented properly and are adhered to.
- The EiRC and SAEC have the special responsibility to receive reports, advice and queries relating to research involving human participants or animal use respectively.
- The terms of reference for each committee outline both the scope of this responsibility and the procedures to be used. From time to time, policy and procedure documents may need revision to respond to changing circumstances and needs. All UCT-based or affiliated researchers are responsible for bringing deficiencies in these documents to the attention of the EiRC, the SAEC or the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). This ensures a sound reflexive and responsive approach to responsible conduct of research.
For more information on research integrity contact the Office of Research Integrity