Persons Involved in a Research Misconduct Case

Complainants and Respondents

The complainant in a research misconduct case is any person who reports an allegation of research misconduct, and the respondent is the person accused of research misconduct. The complainant and respondent’s primary role in allegations of research misconduct is to provide testimony about the case in both the inquiry and/ investigation phase via interviews. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPRO) may also request that complainants and respondents provide grants proposals, emails or other relevant forms of evidence.


If a complainant or respondent would like to involve witnesses who have information relevant to a research misconduct case, that person should inform the Research Integrity Officer (RIO), who will consider whether to involve the witness. A witness is any person whom the RIO has formally engaged in an inquiry or investigation of an allegation of research misconduct. The complainant or respondent may request that the RIO approve the individual to participate as a witness in the case.

Research Integrity Officer

The RIO is responsible for responding to all allegations of research misconduct across the University in accordance with University policy, HOP 7-1230. The RIO oversees the assessment, inquiry and investigation phase of the evaluation process, and strives to take all reasonable steps to ensure a fair, competent and impartial process for all individuals involved in an allegation.

The RIO may be required to provide the information contained in the report to appropriate parties, including the respondent. Per University policy, if the case proceeds to an inquiry, the VPRO staff will notify the respondent’s chair and dean.

Investigative Committee Member

An investigative committee member is a person who has agreed, at the RIO’s request, to serve on a research misconduct investigative committee. According to University policy, “no committee members shall have real or apparent conflicts of interest in the case. Committee members shall be unbiased and have necessary expertise to effectively evaluate the evidence and issues related to the allegations” (HOP 7-1230, Section II.F.3.a.).

Other University Officials

In accordance with University policy, University officials engage with various phases of the evaluation process. These individuals may include, but are not limited to, the University’s Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice President for Research, Vice President for Legal Affairs, and attorneys from the Office of the Vice President for Legal Affairs.

VPRO Staff

VPRO staff provides policy and administrative support to the RIO.