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Durham University

Research and Innovation Services

Behavioural Principles

Researchers should adhere to the principles of good research practice outlined below. They clarify what it means to engage critically with the practical, ethical and intellectual challenges that are inherent in the conduct of high quality research.

Excellence

Researchers should strive for excellence when conducting research and aim to produce and disseminate work of the highest quality.

Honesty

Researchers should be honest in relation to their own research and that of others. They should do their utmost to ensure the accuracy of data and results, acknowledge the contributions of others, and neither engage in misconduct nor conceal it.

Integrity

Researchers must comply with all legal and ethical requirements relevant to their field of study. They should declare any potential or actual conflicts of interest relating to research and where necessary take steps to resolve them.

Co-operation

Researchers should promote the open exchange of ideas, research methods, data and results and their discussion, scrutiny and debate, subject to any considerations of confidentiality.

Accountability

Researchers should recognise that in and through their work they are immediately accountable to their supervisor, their PI and Head of Department and should act accordingly. They should ensure that any research undertaken complies with any agreements, terms and conditions relating to the project, and allows for proper governance and transparency. Researchers should follow the requirements and guidance of any professional bodies in their field of research. Researchers who are members of a regulated profession must follow the requirements and guidance of the body regulating their profession.

Training and Skills

Researchers should ensure that they have the necessary skills, training and resources to carry out research, within the proposed research team or through collaboration with specialists in relevant fields, and report to and resolve any unmet needs identified in liaison with their PI or head of department.

Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Researchers should ensure the dignity, rights, safety and wellbeing of all involved in research and avoid unreasonable risk or harm to research subjects, patients, participants, researchers and others. They should report and address any concerns relating to the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of those involved in research to their supervisor, their PI or head of department. Research should be initiated and continued only if the risks to those who might be affected by the research have been subjected to suitable and appropriate risk assessment and appropriate risk controls put in place. (See University Health & Safety Service guidance on Risk Assessment).

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Researchers should ensure that Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are embedded throughout the research process. Research design and governance should ensure equitable selection of researchers and subjects, and provide equal access to training and supervision. Leadership and supervision of research should monitor all research output so that it meets with Durham’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion values and provides equitable support and opportunities for all researchers.