Student Misconduct – Research

Student Misconduct – Research

Code of Conduct

All students at QUT must abide by the Code of Conduct for Students. Anybody who infringes this code may find that the University makes allegations of Student Misconduct against them.

On top of this, if you’re a research student you have a separate Code of Conduct for research students that applies to you as well. If you breach this, there are special provisions that apply.

You may be disciplined for something you have done multiple times, or even something you have done only once.

What can I be disciplined for?

Click the links below for further information.
  • the misleading ascription of authorship including the listing of authors without their permission
  • attributing work to others who have not in fact contributed to the research
  • lack of appropriate acknowledgment of work primarily produced by a research student / trainee or associate
  • the fabrication of data and claimed results which cannot be substantiated
  • the falsification or misrepresentation of data and results including changing records;
  • plagiarism;
  • intentionally and without authorisation taking or sequestering or materially damaging any research-related property of another;
  • falsification or misrepresentation to obtain funding;
  • the pursuit of research practices which deviate in critical ways from those commonly accepted within the research community for proposing, conducting or publishing research;
  • breach of the University’s research ethics arrangements, Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes or the State and Federal Gene Technology Regulations.

Research misconduct does not include honest errors or honest differences in interpretations or judgements of data.

What happens if it is alleged that I did something wrong?

Your misconduct will be reported to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation). If it is decided that it will be pursued, it will be referred to the Student Research Misconduct Committee and/or to the Registrar. You will have 10 days to answer the allegation in writing, and you may personally appear at the time given to you in the allegation letter.

What kind of penalties can be applied?

There is a significant range of penalties that can be applied:
  • suspension
  • prohibited from:
    • entering on university land
    • using the university’s information technology resources
    • attendance at classes
  • allocation of a failing grade of 1 in a unit or units
  • reduction of your mark in an assessment item, including reduction of the mark to zero
  • cancellation of credit gained towards an award course
  • withholding of examination results for a specified period
  • imposition of a period of provisional enrolment
  • exclusion from enrolment at the university for a specified period
  • an order to pay restitution of an amount not exceeding $1000
  • permanent expulsion from the university

If the conduct was academically related (i.e. plagiarism), you may also receive an allocation of a failing grade of 1 in the unit in which the academic misconduct occurred.

If you do not attend the meeting, you must be given an opportunity to make submissions on the chosen penalty before it is applied.

Interim suspension

An interim suspension may be imposed if the alleged misconduct raises a concern that there are serious risk of one of the following:

  • (a) physical or psychological harm to a person
  • (b) damage to University land, building or facility or to the University’s information technology resources
  • (c) disruption of a legitimate University activity
  • (d) you continuing to act in a manner which may amount to misconduct.

Can I appeal a decision of misconduct?

You may appeal to the University Appeals Committee within 10 days of receiving your outcome letter. This Committee sits at University level and can overrule the Committee’s decision. If you want to appeal, you need to prove one of the following:

  • that the decision is manifestly unreasonable taking into account all the circumstances of the case or cannot be supported by the evidence that was available at the time the decision was made
  • that procedural requirements specified in this policy were not followed and resulted in a decision which was manifestly unfair
  • that relevant evidence was not considered in reaching the decision or that irrelevant evidence was relied upon in reaching the decision
  • that fresh evidence has become available to the student which was not available or not known to the student at the time that the allegation was heard or decided
  • that a penalty imposed was manifestly excessive or inappropriate, taking into account all the circumstances of the case.

You need to write a submission that shows the Committee that for one of the above reasons, it is not fair for you to get the penalty you received.

They can:

Dismiss the appeal (no change in outcome)
Change the penalty to a different one, including no penalty
Uphold the appeal and revoke the charge

You will be notified of the outcome by email and letter.

I’ve been accused of misconduct.

If, at any step along the way, you need advice or help, contact the Guild’s Student Rights Hub immediately and we can represent you for the best outcome. We can help you with the following things:

  • Assist you in writing your personal statement
  • Provide advice on what supporting documentation (if any) should accompany your statement
  • Accompany you to the discipline meeting
  • Assist in preparing your appeal of any decision reached by the University