Close up of researcher using pipette in the microbiology lab

Research governance

Read more about our research principles, standards and regulations of good practice

What is research governance?

Research Governance is the broad range of duties, standards and regulations of good practice that exist to ensure and continuously improve research quality and reliability.

Research governance is required to:

  • Safeguard all participants in research
  • Protect researchers and investigators by providing a clear framework within which to work
  • Monitor practice and performance to ensure and enhance ethical and scientific quality
  • Minimise risk and promote good practice
  • Prevent poor performance and misconduct

The University complies with the Concordat to Support Research Integrity (Universities UK) and has adopted the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) Code of Practice for Research as its own.

You can find the policies, procedures and codes of conduct that define the research governance framework at the University of Portsmouth – and key University contacts – below.

Our policies, procedures and codes of conduct

The University Ethics Policy provides a general framework for professional practice and decision-making on ethical issues as they arise in the work of the University. You can find more at our Research Ethics page.

For ethics queries and concerns please contact Dr Simon Kolstoe, University Ethics Adviser (simon.kolstoe@port.ac.uk) or Denise Teasdale (denise.teasdale@port.ac.uk), Research Manager in Research and Innovation Services.

The University is committed to promoting high standards in the conduct of research through the implementation of a number of policies and procedures, these include:

University of Portsmouth Research & Innovation Project Governance Responsibilities

Appropriate governance of research and innovation activities is mandated by all research and higher education funders. It is also required by professional and learned societies. Responsibility for governance (including when research or innovation activities are conducted for educational purposes) lies initially with the member of staff responsible for the project/student followed by their department/school head, followed by dean of faculty, and ultimately PVC research.

The following list is not exhaustive as there may be additional requirements for specific types of research (such as clinical trials), but at the minimum those responsible should ensure:

General:

1. The project is justified and the primary and secondary outcomes are appropriately designed.

2. Everyone who will be involved in the project is appropriately qualified by education, training and/or experience to discharge their roles and responsibilities in the project.

3. The project has been appropriately peer reviewed.

4. Plans are in place for a suitable ethics review of the project and this will be completed prior to any work being undertaken.

5. Appropriate dissemination and engagement activities have been considered and (if required) an impact plan is in place.

6. All health and safety risk assessments and considerations have been made and/or taken into account.

7. All amendments, annual and final reports, will be submitted to the appropriate authorities if required.

8. All relevant laws and professional guidance are being followed.

University of Portsmouth specific:

9. The aims of the project, and the organisation(s) we want to work with, are consistent with the University's mission and values.

10. Any relevant project initiation forms have been completed.

11. All external support and collaborations comply with the University’s financial policies and procedures. This includes due diligence checks where necessary.

12. Data will be managed in accordance with the University Data Management Policy, and where appropriate a data management plan will be put in place.

13. The scope of the proposed project falls within the University’s insurance and indemnity policies.

14. All required declarations of interest have been made and will comply with the University’s research integrity and misconduct policies.

15. The University’s intellectual property policies has been consulted and appropriate discussions/ arrangements have been made as required.

Permissions:

16. All required contracts and/or agreements will be in place prior to starting the project.

17. Arrangements are in place for the project team to access resources and support to deliver the work as proposed.

18. Approval to conduct the project has been gained from the relevant department head(s)/deans(s).

The University has been awarded the EC Human Resources Excellence in Research Award. The Award is given to organisations which have a robust strategy for improving the career development and management of its researchers.

Six year review

In May 2019, as part of the 6-year review, we updated our action plan, developed new actions and produced a report highlighting our main achievements - the documents below were those produced as part of this process.

Four year review

In May 2017, as part of the 4-year review, we updated our action plan, developed new actions and produced a report highlighting the main achievements. To highlight the work of the Researchers’ Network we have also developed a case study. The documents below are the outputs produced from this process.

DORA and the responsible use of research metrics


The University of Portsmouth firmly believes that research should be assessed/evaluated in as objective manner as possible, irrespective of the outlet or medium through which it is released, and that all research assessment and evaluation processes should be transparent, founded on fairness, consistency and inclusivity, and fit for purpose.

We do not deny that quantitative metrics (such as impact factors, citation counts and journal rankings) have a role to play in research assessment and evaluation. However, we view their role as being to complement and lend support to peer review and expert judgement - rather than being either a primary or surrogate determinant of ‘research quality’ - when hiring, promotion, or funding decisions are made.

For this reason, in January 2020, the University of Portsmouth signed up to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). We unequivocally embrace the general recommendations for institutions laid out in that document and have developed the following eight principles to govern our approach in this area.

The Portsmouth Principles governing Research Evaluation and Assessment


  • Principle 1: We view the content of a paper as much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it is published
  • Principle 2: We will use quantitative metrics to inform and support, but not to supplant peer review and expert judgement 
  • Principle 3: Our research assessment and evaluation processes will have clear, strategic objectives
  • Principle 4: We will account for variation by disciplinary field in terms of research outputs and citation practices
  • Principle 5: We will ensure data sources are accurate, reliable, robust and transparent
  • Principle 6: Where we use research metrics in our assessment and evaluation processes, we will not rely upon one single metric in isolation
  • Principle 7: We will not employ research metrics that reflect or introduce bias (e.g. by gender) in any research assessment or evaluation process
  • Principle 8: We will champion the use of responsible metrics at Portsmouth


Further information

For more details on our approach relating to the use of research metrics in research evaluation and assessment, download part 1 of our DORA paper.  

For examples of why we have adopted each of these principles, and how they are reflected in our current policies and processes, download part 2 of our DORA paper.

To read more on how we are going to further embed these principles into our operating practices, download part 3 of our DORA paper. 

If you have any questions relating to how we use research metrics at Portsmouth please email us at RIS@port.ac.uk, stating 'Research Metrics' as the subject of your enquiry.

The University is committed to ensuring that its research is undertaken in a safe manner. The following policies guide our work in this area:

External funders of research are increasingly seeking assurances from researchers and their institutions that their research is of the appropriate quality. Explore some terms of our funders below:

Dr Simon Kolstoe (simon.kolstoe@port.ac.uk) is the University Ethics Advisor and is the first point of contact for research ethics issues.

Professor Bob Nichol (bob.nichol@port.ac.uk) is our Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation – please contact him if you have any concerns relating to Research Integrity at the University.

If you have any questions regarding Research Governance at the University of Portsmouth you should contact Denise Teasdale (denise.teasdale@port.ac.uk), Research Manager in Research and Innovation Services.

And to report a matter relating to research misconduct or make a complaint using the University’s Whistleblowing Policy, please contact Adrian Parry (adrian.parry@port.ac.uk), the University's Director of Corporate Governance.

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