Research governance

The University of Plymouth is committed to maintaining and promoting the highest standards of integrity and probity in scientific research. 

There is an established set of fundamental principles detailed in the University's policies to ensure good scientific practice, the integrity of research involving human participants, their tissue, as well as non-human live organisms; and general principles of data confidentiality and access.

Good research practices

All researchers within the University of Plymouth have a duty to society, to their profession, to the University and to those funding their research, to conduct their research in the most conscientious and responsible manner possible. 

The University seeks to foster an environment where good research practice is encouraged and where there is adequate mentoring and supervision at all relevant levels. 

The University is a signatory to the Universities UK Concordat to Support Research Integrity and has a set of fundamental principles to ensure good scientific practice (including publication ethics, general principles of data confidentiality and access) across all research activities.

Refer to our Code of Good Research Practice and Research Ethics pages for further information on the institution's regulations. 

Trusted Research

The University supports a Trusted Research approach to international research collaboration which protects shared fundamental values of respect for human dignity, human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the protection of academic freedom which is enshrined in law.

Trusted Research is particularly relevant to researchers in STEM subjects, dual-use technologies, emerging technologies and commercially sensitive research areas.

Guidance that supports the benefits of international scientific collaboration while protecting intellectual property, sensitive research and personal information has been produced by the National Cyber Security Centre and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastracture.

Information on steps that you can take to protect your research, ensure that you are meeting all your legal obligations and support you in making informed, risk proportionate, and balanced decisions about research collaborations can be found in the Trusted Research Guidance for Academics and accompanying Checklist.


Our commitment to GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) came into force on 25 May 2018.

This new legislation expands the rights of individuals to control how their personal information is collected and processed and places a range of new obligations on organisations to be more accountable for data protection.

If you are a researcher dealing with identifiable information and you have a question what is your responsibility and good practice in data management, please contact your Faculty Research and Integrity Committee.

If you are a research participant, you can out how your data are managed in our Research Participant Privacy Notice.

Reporting research misconduct

We are committed to investigating any allegations of research misconduct fully and expeditiously. We have also a responsibility to protect researchers from malicious, mischievous, or frivolous allegations. 

Anyone suspecting misconduct by a researcher is obligated to report this in accordance with the procedures described in the Code of Good Research Practice, section 4. Such whistleblowers must not investigate or take action on their own account but follow appropriate procedures.

If you suspect a case of research misconduct, please, refer to the Code of Good Research Practice and our whistleblowers policies, and contact the relevant Head of Department/School, Faculty Dean or Dr John Martin, the Secretary of the University Research Ethics and Integrity Committee, for advice.

Export controls

Export controls are used to restrict the export of certain categories of goods, sensitive technology, software and services in order to prevent misuse of conventional weapons, illegitimate development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and to counter international threats, such as terrorism. Other reasons for controls include security, foreign policy and international treaty commitments (e.g., United Nations trade sanctions or arms embargoes).

Export controls apply to a university and its staff in the same way as to any other organisation.

It is the responsibility of each individual to ensure that they do not export controlled items without an appropriate licence. University staff are expected to familiarise themselves with the University’s guidance on export control and be aware of whether their research activities may be subject to export control legislation.