URMC Compliance Program Policy Manual:
Scientific Integrity

Anyone who receives federal funds and grants to conduct scientific research must comply with the federal regulations imposed upon the recipients of those funds. These regulations generally prohibit "misconduct in science," which includes intentional fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, conducting, or reporting research. Honest errors or differences in interpretations of data are not considered violations.

These so-called "misconduct regulations" are designed to prevent dishonesty and fraud in federally funded research programs. URMC is committed to complying with the regulations and avoiding any practice that may be interpreted as misconduct. Employees in the laboratory, medical staff and administration of any facility, and any department receiving federal funds to conduct research must be vigilant in identifying violations of these regulations and reporting them to the Compliance Officer.

The federal regulations provide procedures for a thorough and confidential internal inquiry and investigation of any allegation. Because evaluating these claims is complex and depends upon the specific facts and circumstances of each case, the Medical Center shall appoint an inquiry team consisting of legal counsel and at least two scientists experienced in the particular scientific field to determine whether a violation may have occurred. If further investigation is recommended, the Medical Center is required to notify the Office of Research Integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services, which monitors such investigations and is authorized by law to conduct its own review of the allegations.

Violations of these federal regulations could result in exclusion from eligibility for federal grants and contracts generally up to three years. Federal law also provides criminal sanctions for making false written or oral statements to the Office of Research Integrity during the course of an investigation.