The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to foster innovative approaches to empirical research on societal, organizational, group, and individual factors that affect, both positively and negatively, integrity in research and to develop tools for detecting research misconduct.
Integrity is defined as the use of honest and verifiable methods in proposing, performing, and evaluating research and reporting research results with particular attention to adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines, and commonly accepted professional codes or norms.
Background ORI research on research misconduct and research integrity has been funded over the years with the goal of providing the evidence base for ORI to create or modify educational programs to encourage the responsible conduct of research (RCR).
As a result of a review of that research and research priorities in 2014, ORI issued a new announcement for 2015 to change the direction of ORI-funded research, from a descriptive and educational focus to one that is designed explicitly to address the following:
(a) identify risk factors that make misconduct more likely; (b) create an evidence base for proactive interventions; and, (c) build on lessons learned through previous research and the experiences of those who have been involved in guiding research misconduct proceedings.
In 2016, an additional goal was added:
to support the development of tools that can be used to more easily identify research misconduct in images and statistical results.
The research will be reviewed and funded in a two-phase process.
For the first phase, ORI is seeking small-scale, developmental research projects that must have the following characteristics:
The research is either:
a) discipline-specific or cross-disciplinary and arises out of the theoretical and empirical literature of social science and related disciplines seeking to understand behavior in a social context:
anthropology, economics, sociology, criminology (specifically white collar crime), psychology (particularly social and cognitive) and law; or, b) arises out of disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, engineering, and computer science and focuses on the technical aspects (e.g., machine learning, language technologies, image recognition , statistical forensics) required to develop state-of-the art tools for detecting falsification and/or fabrication of images and data.
ORI strongly encourages that the projects include collaboration with institutional research misconduct officials and/or others who have direct experience with 42 CFR Part 93, including institutional attorneys experienced with institutional research misconduct proceedings.
ORI also strongly encourages that the projects take place in research settings and/or includes individuals actively engaged in or training for careers in research.
For the second phase, those who were successful in obtaining Phase I research awards will be eligible to submit applications for research that builds on the preliminary findings from Phase I.
ORI understands that findings in Phase I may require investigators to modify their plans for Phase II from what was proposed in Phase I; modifications in scope or direction will need to be justified in these Phase II applications.