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)
- Emeritus Professor Michael Brooks
- Mr Michael Chilcott
- Professor Gerald Holtmann
- Dr Jane Jacobs
- Professor Margaret Otlowski
- Emeritus Professor Robyn Owens
- Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew
- Emeritus Professor Janice Reid AC
- Emeritus Professor John Finlay-Jones
- 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 was completed in October 2023. The evaluation was conducted by KPMG and focuses on the effectiveness and performance of ARIC in meeting its purpose as outlined in the ARIC Framework. It includes 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.
- ARIC Evaluation Report – PDF Format (1.4MB) – Word Format (5.1MB)
- International Policy Scan Report – PDF Format (1.3MB) – Word Format (1.7MB)
- Joint ARC and NHMRC Statement on ARIC Evaluation – PDF Format (197.2KB) – Word Format (98.1KB)
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.
Emeritus Professor Michael Brooks
Michael Brooks is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Adelaide, previously serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Provost and Interim Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Brooks has researched in the artificial intelligence and robotics fields of image and video understanding, publishing extensively in computer vision. He is a Fellow of both the Australian Computer Society and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and is the holder of an honorary doctorate from the University of Nottingham.
He has served on numerous research-institute boards, including the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, the Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute, and National ICT Australia, the forerunner of CSIRO’s Data61.
Professor Brooks is a former chair of Australia’s Group of Eight Committee of Deputy Vice-Chancellors Research, and chaired the Australian Research Council review of the Excellence in Research Australia quality assessment scheme for universities. He was a member of the expert committee overseeing the development of the 2018 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and has had extensive experience in handling matters of research integrity.
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.
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 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 Gerald Holtmann
Professor Gerald Holtmann is the Director of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. In addition to his clinical and managerial roles, he serves on the Board of West Moreton Hospital and Health Service in Queensland and chairs the Safety and Quality Committee of this health service. He has previously been the Associate Dean Clinical of the University of Queensland and currently holds the position of Director of Clinical Innovation for this organization. Professor Holtmann's contributions to research in the field of Neurogastroenterology and Health Service Innovations have earned him international recognition. He chairs the Sociocultural Committee of the Rome Foundation. He has published numerous influential papers that have impacted clinical guidelines both nationally and internationally. Additionally, he possesses professional experience beyond the medical field and academia. He holds an MBA degree and for several years has served as the CEO of a large overseas University Hospital.
Dr Jane Jacobs
Dr Jane Jacobs has extensive knowledge and operational experience in the research ethics, governance and research integrity environment from the State government, the higher education and research sectors. With over two decades in senior roles she brings expertise and insights into the Australian research integrity environment and knowledge of emerging international trends and issues.
She has held key integrity and ethics advisory roles and was the foundation Director of the Queensland University of Technology, Office Research Ethics and Integrity. In this and other senior roles, she has led the development and implementation of change management programme strategies supporting researchers and institutions to promote and engender responsible research conduct.
Dr Jacobs has been a past member of NHMRC working groups for the harmonisation of single ethics review and the development of the Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. In more recent years she has worked as an independent consultant to the higher education sector undertaking governance and integrity reviews, providing expert advice on matters concerning the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, supporting institutions in policy and procedure development and providing oversight of institutional assessments and investigation into potential breaches of the Australian Code.
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 Robyn Owens
Robyn is an Emeritus Professor in the Australian university sector and the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Western Australia. She has over 30-years’ experience working as a teacher, researcher, and university leader, focusing on strategy and national policy.
Robyn was trained in mathematics at UWA, Oxford and the University of Paris. Her research was primarily in computer vision, where she contributed to both theoretical and applied aspects of feature recognition in images and image understanding. She has been acknowledged with several national and international awards, including the 2010 UK Rank Prize.
Robyn is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering, and the Australian Computer Society. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of the Vincent Fairfax Ethical Leadership Program. In 2023 she was awarded an AM. She currently sits on the Senate of Murdoch University, Chairs the Governing Board for ACCESS-NRI national research infrastructure, and is on the Board of the Australian Maths Trust.
Emeritus Professor Alan Pettigrew
Alan Pettigrew has held senior executive appointments at the Universities of Sydney, Queensland, and New South Wales as well as Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England. He was the inaugural CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council from 2001 to 2005.
Since his retirement in 2009 Alan has served as a member of the Commonwealth Cooperative Research Centres Committee, the Council of the QIMRBerghofer Medical Research Institute, as an adviser to the Chief Scientist of Australia and as a consultant on research, strategy and special projects to 11 Australian universities. He was Chair of the Board of the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute from 2014 to 2020 and has previously contributed to international projects on higher education and research leadership as a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
Alan is currently an external elected Fellow of Senate and Pro-Chancellor at the University of Sydney, a member of the Expert Advisory Group of the National Psychosocial Safety Network and an Elected Councillor of the Hospitals Contribution Fund Pty Ltd.
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 Welcome 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.