UAB NEUROSCIENCE GRADUATE PROGRAM ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT POLICY

All faculty and students have a responsibility to report suspected research misconduct to the appropriate parties. According to the Office of Research Integrity (http://www.ori.hhs.gov/documents/FR_Doc_05-9643.shtml, p.37).

RESEARCH MISCONDUCT "means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results.

   1. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
   2. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
   3. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
   4. Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion."

If academic misconduct is suspected for a graduate student, the accusing party (be they faculty, staff, or another student) is to inform the Director of Graduate Studies and supply copies of any relevant material pertaining to the accusation. The Director of Graduate Studies will prepare a letter for the accused student that summarizes the accusations and asks for an explanation in a non-accusatory fashion. If the Director of Graduate Studies deems the student's explanation unacceptable, and if it appears that serious, unethical conduct has taken place, the matter is referred to the departmental Graduate Committee (with the exclusion of the graduate student member) for consideration. After deliberation, a decision is made either to exonerate the student, or to impose sanctions up to and including expulsion. If sanctions are imposed, the decision has to be approved by the Chair. The graduate student has the right of appeal with the opportunity to present his/her position to the departmental Graduate Committee. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

If the infraction is less severe, the Director of Graduate Studies counsels the graduate student and instructs the student in the accepted ethical practices of science.

Regardless of the severity of the infraction, the Director of Graduate Studies must provide the Committee with a written summary of all actions surrounding the allegations. If sanctions are imposed, the graduate student has the right to appeal. If the appeal to the Graduate Committee is not satisfactory, the graduate student may appeal to the Graduate School itself, according to the Graduate School Policies and Procedures (http://www.uab.edu/graduate/polproc.htm). In this case, copies of all the departmental proceedings with documentation will be forwarded to the Graduate Dean, who in turn will maintain records of all subsequent proceedings. According to the Policies and Procedures of the Graduate School, "the decision of the Graduate Appeals Board is final." Moreover, academic misconduct that involves potential criminal activities will be referred to the appropriate offices within the institution. Students and faculty should be familiar with the university's policies on scientific misconduct, especially as they apply to research and courses.

If the program director is the instructor who charges the student with academic misconduct, then a senior faculty member from the department, appointed by the Neuroscience Graduate Committee, will review the charge and take appropriate actions as described above.

Director of Graduate Studies = Dr. Scott Wilson