Australian Research Integrity Committee (ARIC) undertakes reviews of institutional processes used to manage and investigate potential breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (the Code).
ARIC is jointly established by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).
ARIC undertakes reviews of institutional processes used to manage and investigate potential breaches of the Code. ARIC aims to ensure that in investigating potential breaches of the Code, institutions observe proper processes. In this way, ARIC contributes to public confidence in the integrity of Australia's research effort.
- ARIC Framework 2021 – see Download section (below).
The ARC and the NHMRC jointly administer ARIC to:
- review the processes by which an institution that is eligible to receive funding from the ARC and/or NHMRC has managed and/or investigated a potential breach of the Code
- provide findings and, where relevant, recommendations to the CEO of ARC and/or the CEO of NHMRC
- publish de-identified information on its activities at least annually.
In all matters ARIC considers whether the institution's response to a potential breach of the Code was consistent with the Code, the Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Code and with the institution's policies and procedures for investigating potential breaches of the Code.
Information on the responsibilities for aspects of research integrity held by various bodies in Australia can be found at Research integrity in Australia – roles and responsibilities.
Requesting a review from ARIC
A person, group or organisation may request that ARIC review the process undertaken by an institution to manage and investigate potential breaches of the Code.
Requests for ARIC reviews can be made up to 12 weeks following formal notification from an institution that it has finalised its preliminary assessment or investigation into the potential breach of the Code.
- ARIC Request for Review – see Download section (below).
ARIC operations and support
ARIC operates as:
- ARIC-NHMRC, established under s39 of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992.
- ARIC-ARC, established under the executive powers of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ARC.
Secretariat support for ARIC comes from the relevant agency.
If you would like to speak with the ARIC Secretariat, send an email with a summary of your request to arrange a time to discuss the matter.
For further information regarding ARIC or ARIC Request for Review, contact ARIC Secretariat at either:
- Postal address
- ARIC-NHMRC Secretariat [IN CONFIDENCE]
National Health and Medical Research Council
GPO Box 1421
Canberra ACT 2601
- Postal address
- ARIC-ARC Secretariat [IN CONFIDENCE]
- Australian Research Council
GPO Box 2702
Canberra ACT 2601
An independent evaluation of ARIC has commenced. The evaluation will focus on the effectiveness and performance of ARIC in meeting its purpose as outlined in the ARIC Framework. It will include an assessment of:
- the way in which ARIC receives requests for review, including decisions about which matters are within scope
- the processes for conducting reviews, including the time taken to complete the review
- the relevance of ARIC's advice to the respective CEOs, including its suggested recommendations to institutions
- the satisfaction of stakeholders with ARIC's processes and outcomes
- ARIC's relationship with institutions, including institutions' compliance and cooperation on reviews and the extent to which ARIC's recommendations are acted on when communicated to institutions
- whether ARIC's existence and role are known and understood by relevant stakeholders, including the extent to which institutions make information about ARIC available to relevant parties
- what qualifications or mix of qualifications ARIC members should have and what is the best way of achieving an effective balance both in experience and numbers, including a suitable selection process to recruit new members
- the operation of the secretariat, including the split across the two agencies, particularly how this affects the secretariat's support for ARIC members.
The evaluation will also undertake a desk-top review of the research integrity arrangements in other countries and provide a report of its review.
The independent evaluation of ARIC was initially expected to be completed by March 2023, however, stakeholder engagement has been extensive and the evaluation is yet to be finalised. The evaluation is expected to be finalised in the second half of 2023.
ARIC Annual Reports to the Sector
From 2020–21 ARIC will produce an annual report to the sector. The report provides information on the reviews undertaken by ARIC in the relevant financial year, including types of issues raised and key lessons. This report will help inform the sector and promote best practice in addressing research integrity concerns.
- ARIC Annual Report to the Sector 2020–21 – see Downloads section (below).
- ARIC Annual Report to the Sector 2021–22 – see Downloads section (below).
Ms Patricia Kelly has extensive Australian public sector experience, including working closely with the research and higher education sector.
Her roles include Director-General of IP Australia (the Australian Patent and Trade Mark office) from 2013 to 2018 and Deputy Secretary in Commonwealth departments responsible for industry and innovation from 2004 to 2013. She currently sits on the boards of a number of research-oriented organisations and the Council of the University of Canberra.
Deputy Chair, Emeritus Professor
As a consultant and adviser on Research Quality and Research Integrity, Alan Lawson has helped several Australian universities review their Responsible Conduct of Research frameworks. He has also chaired Preliminary Assessments and Investigations (both Internal and External) into complaints and allegations of breaches of research integrity policies and The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
Before retirement in early 2014, Alan Lawson held senior roles in the research portfolio at The University of Queensland, including Dean of the Graduate School, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & International), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). From 2010, he was the Designated Person for matters related to Research Misconduct; he led the drafting and implementation of, and training in, the full suite of Responsible Conduct of Research policies; and oversaw the Office of Research Integrity. His research integrity experience includes matters involving multiple (including international) institutions, and researchers not covered by Enterprise Agreements.
He has been a board member of multi-institutional research centres in a variety of fields including: water resources and technologies; microscopy; advanced materials; information technology; medical science; social science; and humanities. He was member of the Defence Export Controls Office Pilots Working Group, 2012-13.
Mr Michael Chilcott has extensive experience in government and the legal sector. He has an extensive background in the practice of criminal law, administrative law, public sector employment, tribunals and the conduct of reviews.
He served as the ACT's Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (including 9 months as the Director), on the ACT's Sentence Administration Board as its Chair and Deputy Chair, as an Independent Merits Reviewer for the Department of immigration, the Director of Legal for the Australian Federal Police and other roles in the government sector. More recently, he has been engaged on reviews for government agencies and has been an advisor on public sector employment issues.
John Finlay-Jones has held positions at Edith Cowan University in W.A. (Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research) and more recently at Charles Darwin University in the NT (Acting DVCR). Prior to those appointments he was at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in WA (Assistant Director) and Flinders University in SA (an academic staff member in the School of Medicine, then Head of the Faculty of Health Sciences).
He has been President of the Australian Society for Medical Research, and Honorary Secretary then President of the Australian Society for Microbiology,
His research foci have encompassed infectious diseases, immunology and oncology, and included research done in collaboration with industry in sunscreen development, and evaluation of anti-inflammatory products. Professional engagement has included roles with the National Health and Medical Research Council (particularly with respect to Research Fellowships and Project Grants) and the Australian Research Council, and with the Medical School Accreditation Committee of the Australian Medical Council.
He is currently an Emeritus Professor of Flinders University (College of Medicine and Public Health) and an Emeritus Professor of Edith Cowan University (School of Medical and Health Sciences), and is a member of several research advisory boards.
Julie Hamblin has more than 25 years' experience advising the public and private health sectors on health law, medical negligence, clinical risk, medical research, bioethics and public health. She has expertise in complaint handling from a range of perspectives – as a Tribunal member and through acting both for institutions receiving complaints and for individuals against whom a complaint has been made.
In addition to her appointment to ARIC, she currently serves on the NSW Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel, and has held a number of other Government appointments in the health sector, including the Australian National Council on HIV/AIDS and Related Diseases, and the board of the former Central Sydney Area Health Service. She has a particular interest and expertise in public health and HIV/AIDS in developing countries, having undertaken consultancy work with the United Nations Development Program and other UN and non-governmental bodies in more than 20 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe. She currently chairs the board of Maluk Timor Australia and is a board member of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
Margaret Otlowski is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Tasmania and serves as the University's Pro Vice-Chancellor, Culture and Wellbeing. She has had extensive quasi-judicial experience as a member of the Commonwealth Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Tasmanian Guardianship and Administration Board, and the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. She has served as Chair of the University of Tasmania Social Sciences HREC for more than a decade, as well as member of the Royal Hobart Hospital's HREC and Clinical Ethics Committee. She is an established health law scholar, publishing extensively in the field, and has been engaged by Commonwealth and State governments and agencies as a consultant and member for various committees including as a member of two NHMRC principal committees (2009–2015) – the Australian Health Ethics Committee and the Human Genetics Advisory Committee. In 2015, she was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.
Janice Reid was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney from 1998 to 2013. In this capacity she developed a keen practical concern with academic honesty, institutional culture and responses to issues of research integrity. She has also served in governance and policy roles in education, health, cultural and industry programs and organisations in Australia and overseas. Her own research has focused on cross-cultural health and health care, particularly for Aboriginal and refugee communities. In 1984, she received the Wellcome Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. In January 1998 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and in 2003 received an Australian Centenary Medal. In 2015 she became a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).