Findings of Research Misconduct

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-023

Key Dates
Release Date: December 2, 2009

Issued by
Department of Health and Human Services

Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:

Norma Couvertier, APT Foundation: Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the APT Foundation and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Norma Couvertier, former Research Assistant II, APT Foundation in New Haven, Connecticut, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), award R37 DA015969.

Specifically, ORI found that Ms. Couvertier engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and fabricating data that were reported on Participant Urine Monitoring and Breathalyzer Result Forms (CRFs) completed by the Respondent for thirty two (32) of the enrolled study participants in the computer Based Training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT4CBT) research study. A total of 253 alcohol breathalyzer (BALS) results were recorded for the 32 participants as being 0.000 indicating no alcohol detected, rather than the code 999 used when no breathalyzer test was done.

ORI also found that Ms. Couvetier, on 253 occasions, with 32 different study participants, falsified alcohol breathalyzer test results and knowingly and consistently entered a false negative test (indicated by 0.000) rather than identifying the result as a missing data collection (indicated by code 999).

ORI acknowledges Ms. Couvetier's verbal admissions and willingness to cooperate and assist during the APT Foundation's investigation.

Ms. Couvertier has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement in which she has voluntarily agreed, for a period of three (3) years, beginning on September 18, 2009:

(1) To exclude herself from serving in any advisory capacity to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), including but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant;

(2) that any institution that submits an application for PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent's participation is proposed or that uses her in any capacity on PHS-supported research or that submits a report of PHS-funded research in which she is involved must concurrently submit a plan for supervision of her duties to ORI. The supervisory plan must be designed to ensure the integrity of her research contribution. Respondent agreed that she will not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervisory plan is approved by ORI.


Division of Investigative Oversight
Office of Research Integrity
1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750
Rockville, MD 20852
(240) 453-8800

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.