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What happens when someone is found guilty of research misconduct?

Policy & Compliance

Research Misconduct

What happens if there is a finding of research misconduct?

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:

  • debarment from eligibility to receive Federal funds for grants and contracts,
  • prohibition from service on PHS advisory committees, peer review committees, or as consultants,
  • certification of information sources by the respondent that is forwarded by the institution,
  • certification of data by the institution,
  • imposition of supervision on the respondent by the institution,
  • submission of a correction of published articles by the respondent, and
  • submission of a retraction of published articles by the respondent.

In addition, NIH may take further administrative action, including:

  • modification of the terms of an award such as imposing special conditions, or withdrawing approval of the PI or other key personnel,
  • suspension or termination of an award,
  • recovery of funds, and
  • resolution of suspended awards.

The institution (university) may impose additional penalties:

  • Loss of employment
  • Reassignment of personnel
  • Mentorship program

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.

What should you do if you suspect research misconduct?

Contact the HHS Office of Research Integrity

Contact NIH Extramural Research Integrity

Related Resources

This page last updated on November 19, 2012 
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