Management, leadership and working with others
(i) Institutional Level
City has a responsibility to develop and provide a working environment that is conducive to good research practice. The Vice-President (Research and Enterprise) and City Research & Enterprise Committee are responsible for supporting and encouraging research activity within the context of City Strategy, defining and implementing policies on research and taking an overview of the research plans of Schools. The Senate Research Ethics Committee is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the ethics of research investigations and for ensuring in particular that research involving human participants and animal subjects carried out in the institution or under its auspices meets ethical requirements.
Research & Enterprise, Research Finance, Organisational Development, Human Resources and the Department for Learning Enhancement & Development (LEaD) support good research practice at institutional level through the provision of individual and general advice and guidance and through a programme of training and development opportunities directed at all staff involved in research.
City’s Graduate School Committee under the chairmanship of the Dean of the Graduate School, the Senior Tutors for Research Forum and Student and Academic Services are responsible for overseeing and supporting City’s research students and for the development of policy and practice in relation to research degrees. This includes the production of guides for research students and staff involved in research degree provision and holding City induction and training sessions for research students.
(ii) School Level
At local level, responsibility for creating and developing an environment that promotes and ensures good research practice lies with Deans of School, Associate Deans and Senior Tutors for Research and Heads of Faculty/Department/Centre (or equivalent). In addition, each School has a Research Committee that assists in fostering good research practice.
The School is responsible for overseeing and promoting the research activity of teams and individuals within its areas, reviewing overall progress, performance management and considering the training and development needs of staff, including the skills required for the management, supervision and appraisal of research assistants and other members of staff and for the management and supervision of research students. In addition, the Head of Faculty/Department/Centre is responsible in the first instance for ensuring the implementation of an appropriate mentoring scheme (in consultation with Organisational Development) for new members of academic and research staff, particularly those new to the profession. The Head of Faculty/Department/Centre is also responsible for ensuring that contract research staff are given access to the same information and facilities and are included in local and City activities in the same way as staff on continuing contracts. Good practice in research should also be considered during the annual appraisal process as a matter of routine for academic and research staff and for any other staff involved in research.
Schools are also responsible for ensuring that their research students receive an appropriate level of training and supervision commensurate with that set out in City’s Guide for Research Students, and that they are included in appropriate local and City activities.
(iii) Research Centre or Unit
Where research centres or units are established within or across Schools, good research practice is the immediate responsibility of the appointed centre or unit leader. Where collaborative work is undertaken within City it is expected that reporting requirements will be adhered to within each School concerned.
(iv) The individual researcher
Individual researchers (both staff and students) are expected to take direct responsibility for their own standard of practice and to recognise that they are accountable for this to City, to any other funding body concerned, to their profession and to other staff and students involved in the research. In particular, individuals are expected to ensure that they are familiar with and comply with all relevant regulations and codes of practice which may apply to their research, and that they take appropriate steps to obtain advice whenever necessary. Researchers are also expected to consider their own training and development needs and to be proactive in taking up opportunities to address these. City will seek to make guidance and training accessible in order to enable researchers to fulfil these responsibilities but the primary onus for doing so must rest with the researcher.
(v) Collaborative research with partner organisations and individuals outside City
Members of City are expected to apply the principles of the good practice framework in any collaborative work undertaken with external individuals and/or organisations. Where individuals or groups are engaged in collaborative research with bodies outside City, it is expected that internal reporting requirements at School and institutional level will continue to be met as appropriate. Where members of City are involved in collaborative research that has ethical implications, formal approval from City must be sought through the relevant channels (see ethical approval of research) in addition to any ethics approval that is sought from external bodies, unless it is explicitly agreed that an external approval process will stand in place of institutional approval requirements.
Where research is being undertaken with international partners or involving field studies to be carried out overseas, steps must be taken to ensure that any legal and ethical requirements of the other country or countries concerned which may apply are met. It should also be recognised that understanding of what constitutes acceptable practice in research may vary between both disciplines and countries. Researchers should ensure that a shared understanding is reached within a collaborative research team in order that the expected high standards of practice are maintained.
(vi) Features of good research practice in management, leadership and working with others
Good research practice for management, leadership and working with others includes:
- Ensuring compliance with regulations laid down by City and funding bodies as well as legal, health and safety, ethical and moral obligations and the encouragement of good research practice.
- Central institutional advice on these matters can be obtained from Research & Enterprise, the Research Grants and Contracts team in Finance, the Human Resources Department and, with regard to ethical issues, the Secretary to Senate Research Ethics Committee in Research & Enterprise. Advice on City insurance can be obtained from the Procurement Team in the Finance and Procurement Department. Advice on Data Protection, Freedom of Information and records management can be obtained from the Information Compliance Officer. Advice on Health and Safety matters, including risk assessments for overseas travel, can be obtained from the Safety Manager.
- The encouragement and support of Deans of School for City members to undertake research including collaborative and cross-disciplinary work.
- An openness and responsiveness of researchers to reasoned criticism by colleagues and peers and the fostering of debate, open exchange of ideas and mutual cooperation within and across Schools and Research Centres and Units.
- Positive, transparent and fair leadership.
- Team leaders ensuring that, within any team work, all members are clear on procedures and direction of the research.