As an agency under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIH follows the Public Health Service (PHS) Policies on Research Misconduct 42 CFR 93. According to this, research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, and does not include honest error or differences of opinion.
All institutions receiving PHS funding must have written policies and procedures for addressing allegations of research misconduct.
NIH has specific procedures in place to handle allegations of research misconduct. All allegations of research misconduct received at the NIH are promptly and carefully reviewed. However, NIH does not have the authority to conduct investigations of these allegations except for the ones involving NIH intramural research. Ultimately, all research misconduct allegations involving NIH awards are forwarded to the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) for their oversight.
ORI is responsible for overseeing and directing PHS research integrity activities. ORI has the authority and the responsibility to review and monitor investigations of research misconduct allegations involving PHS funding.
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results, according to 42 CFR Part 93.
Fabrication: Making up data or results and recording or reporting them
Falsification: Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
Plagiarism: The appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
42 CFR 93.104
If an individual involved in NIH funded research is found to have committed research misconduct, the administrative actions PHS/HHS may take against them include, but are not limited to:
In addition, NIH may take further administrative action, including:
The institution (university) may impose additional penalties:
Is there an appeals process?Yes. The process for contesting a decision is outlined in 42 CFR Part 93, Subpart E (PDF - 52 KB). For more on appeals, please see the Hearings page on the ORI Web site.
This page last updated on
August 25, 2010
Technical Issues: E-mail OER Webmaster