Responsible Conduct of Research

Brock University is committed to research integrity and the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

To that end, we have created the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, which fosters an environment that values the responsible conduct of research. The Policy promotes education about, and awareness of, the principles and practices of the responsible conduct of research and ensures that we comply with federal government requirements in this area.

Brock and the research enterprise offices take allegations of research misconduct very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about research taking place at Brock, please contact please contact Dr. Deborah O’Leary Acting Associate Vice-President, Research. Written allegations may be submitted in any form; however, an optional template is available.


All research and teaching that involves the use of human subjects, animals, radiation, biohazardous material, and field safety must comply with Brock University policies and procedures, which are based on national legislation and the requirements of national government and non-government organizations.

In addition to the Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, related internal policies are outlined under Section 3C, 2 (2.1, 2.2, 2.3) of Brock University’s Faculty Handbook Section 3: Academic Regulations.

Major external bodies that inform our work include the Tri-Agency Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research, the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2, 2018); the national peer review agency Canadian Council on Animal Care, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, among others.

Depending upon the type of research, researchers may require clearance from a Research Ethics Board (human) and/or the Animal Care Committee (animals) and/or the Academic Safety Committee. Please refer to the Office of Research Ethics and Animal Care Services. Further information is available through the internal Information for Researchers site (login required) and the Academic, Research, and Lab Safety site (login required).

Annual record of cases handled under Brock’s Responsible Conduct of Research policy

Under Brock University’s Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, a breach is defined as any action that is determined to be inconsistent with the expectations for responsible conduct of research as outlined in the Policy.

Intent and impact are not relevant in determining the existence of a breach, so this is a category that includes trivial and inadvertent cases. Intent and impact are considered in determining the appropriate recourse to an identified breach. Breaches that are committed knowingly, and which have a significant impact on the public or the research community will attract the most serious recourses. For example, even though each of the following would be considered a breach, omitting one publication on a CV or failing to cite one reference in a grant application is treated very differently than intentionally falsifying or fabricating research data, or recruiting human participants without disclosing the risks to which they will be exposed.

Brock University responds to inadvertent minor breaches through non-disciplinary educative action (e.g., reminders about policy requirements or redirection to educational resources). Intent and seriousness of a breach would affect any disciplinary action to be taken by the University.


Calendar yearRCR allegations receivedRCR breaches confirmedBreaches resulting in educative actionBreaches resulting in disciplinary action
202120N/A N/A

Educational Resources

All Brock faculty, staff, and students have free access to a broad range of online modules offered by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program. Register for an account using your Brock affiliation at

The Course on Research Ethics is also available for researchers and the broad community interested in learning more about ethical issues in research with human participants. The federal government’s Panel on Research Ethics has released Taking Part in Research educational resources to assist current and prospective participants in their choices about taking part in research. The resources include a brochure and frequently asked questions that are available online for use by the general public, researchers, research ethics boards and institutions.