Australian Research Integrity Committee
The Australian Research Integrity Committee (ARIC) was established by the Australian Government in February 2011.
The ARIC is jointly established by the ARC and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
- Establishment and Purpose of ARIC
- ARIC Operations and Support
- Evaluation of ARIC
- ARIC Members
- Ms Patricia Kelly PSM (Chair)
- Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson (Deputy Chair)
- Ms Julie Hamblin
- Mr Michael Chilcott
- Emeritus Professor John Finlay-Jones
- Professor Margaret Otlowski
- Emeritus Professor Janice Reid AC
- ARIC Annual reports
The 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). In doing so, the committee contributes to the quality assurance of, and public confidence in, the integrity of Australia’s research effort. The ARIC Framework, which sets out ARIC’s terms of reference and other relevant information, was revised in July 2019 to align it with the provisions of the 2018 Code.
Specifically, ARIC will, following acceptance of a request for review:
- conduct an independent review of the processes followed by an institution in the management or investigation of a potential breach of the Code to determine whether they were in accordance with the Code and the Investigation Guide and/or with relevant institutional policy and procedures, and
- develop advice to the relevant CEO on the outcome of the review and, where relevant, on any recommendations for further action by an institution.
In all matters, ARIC considers whether the institution’s response to a potential breach of the Code was consistent with the principles and responsibilities of the Code, the guidance in the Investigation Guide, and the institution’s policies and procedures for investigating potential breaches of the Code.
- 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 the ARC.
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 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.
Ms Patricia Kelly PSM (Chair)
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 2013–2018 and Deputy Secretary in Commonwealth departments responsible for industry and innovation from 2004–2013. She currently sits on the boards of a number of research-oriented organisations and the Council of the University of Canberra.
Emeritus Professor Alan Lawson (Deputy Chair)
As a consultant and adviser on Research Quality and Research Integrity, Professor 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, Professor Lawson held senior roles in the research portfolio at The University of Queensland, including Dean of the Graduate School, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & International), and 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 from 2012–13.
Ms Julie Hamblin
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.
Mr Michael Chilcott
Mr Michael Chilcott has extensive experience in government legal sector. He has an extensive background in the practice of the criminal law, administrative law, public sector employment, tribunals and the conduct of reviews. Mr Chilcott served as the ACT’s Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (including nine 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.
Emeritus Professor John Finlay-Jones
John Finlay-Jones has held positions at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research (DVCR) and more recently at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory as acting DVCR. Prior to those appointments he held the positions of Assistant Director at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Western Australia and academic staff member in the School of Medicine, then Head of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Flinders University in South Australia.
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 at the College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University; an Emeritus Professor at the School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University; and is a member of several research advisory boards.
Professor Margaret Otlowski
Professor Otlowski is Dean of the Faculty of Law at University of Tasmania. She has extensive quasi-judicial experience as 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. Professor Otlowski 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.
Emeritus Professor Janice Reid AC
Professor Reid was Vice-Chancellor of the Western Sydney University 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. Professor Reid 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, Professor Reid 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).
From 2020-21 ARIC will produce an annual report about matters it has reviewed within the relevant Financial Year. The report contains high level data about the volume and nature of reviews ARIC undertakes, the outcomes and key lessons about the most common issues in institutional processes. ARIC hopes that this report will help inform the sector and promote best practice in addressing research integrity concerns.