Stage 2 - Formal Investigation
The purpose of the Formal Investigation is to review all the relevant evidence, conclude whether an allegation is upheld and make recommendations, regarding any further action deemed necessary to address any misconduct it may have found; correct the record of research, and/or preserve the academic reputation of the University.
Where it is determined that a formal investigation is warranted, the NP will notify appropriate persons/bodies (including the respondent and complainant, any relevant research council etc.), appoint an investigation panel and determine (in liaison with Human Resources) if exceptionally it is appropriate to suspend the Respondent(s) on full pay or place temporary restrictions on them that may include for example the pausing of their research.
The panel, serviced by Human Resources, should consist of a Chair (normally a Head of Department) and 2 other senior members of University staff. In some cases if judged appropriate by the Chair (in liaison with the NP), an external panel member may be appropriate (in place of one of the senior members of staff). You can find more information on the roles and responsibilities of the panel here.
The investigation, indicatively, should be completed within 8-10 weeks of the panel being established. Though this date can be exceeded where the Chair deems it necessary to ensure a full and fair investigation and consideration is undertaken.
At the conclusion of the Formal Investigation, the Panel will conclude, (giving the reasons for its decision and recording any differing views), whether the allegation of misconduct in research is upheld in full, upheld in part, or not upheld (see findings).
If you are the NP you can find a responsibilities checklist here that will guide you through the necessary steps for any research misconduct allegation at the formal investigation stage.