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What to do if you have concerns about research conduct

Concerns about research conduct may arise from a misunderstanding which can be resolved by an informal discussion locally. In all other cases where there are concerns, the formal Research Misconduct Allegations - Investigation Procedure will be used to investigate the facts of the matter.

If you are worried about something relating to the way research is being carried out at the OU, it is important to raise your concerns as soon as possible. You should do this by writing, in confidence, to your Head of Unit. If you feel that this is not appropriate, the Senior Manager, Research Governance may be contacted for confidential discussion of specific concerns.

The Open University is committed to supporting colleagues who express concerns. Concerns raised in good faith will always be taken seriously and considered fairly.

Individuals outside of The Open University, including members of the public, who have concerns about the conduct of OU research should contact the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation.

If you have reasonable suspicions about irregularities in the running of the University or of the activities of colleagues, the whistleblowing mailbox may also be used. For advice on when use of this mailbox may be appropriate, please read the whistleblowing policy.

The Research Misconduct Allegations - Investigation Procedure sets out the process for dealing with allegations that the standards set out in the Research Code of Practice have not been maintained.

The Whistleblowing Policy sets out the process for reporting reasonable suspicions about irregularities in the running of The Open University or the activities of colleagues.


  • Professor Kevin Shakesheff, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovatoin
  • Helen Castley, Senior Manager Research Governance

Queries and concerns can be raised via email to the Research Integrity mailbox or the Whistleblowing mailbox.

Alternatively you can write to:

Professor Kevin Shakesheff
Research, Enterprise and Scholarship Unit
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom