Since the Fonds de recherche du Québec (hereinafter, FRQ) adopted their Policy for the responsible conduct of research (hereinafter, the Policy) in September 2014, they have multiplied efforts to inform the Québec research community about the Policy and the best practices it promotes. This approach reflects the primary objective of the Policy which is to foster a culture of ethics in research throughout the province.

In order to allow the institutions, receiving or acting as trustees of FRQ research funds, to undergo the necessary steps for adopting a policy for the responsible conduct of research as well as processes to allow the management of allegations of breach of conduct that conform to the FRQ Policy, the Policy has come into force progressively. The FRQ provided accompaniment to the institutions in this process and continue building a relation based on trust with their designated responsible conduct of research officers.

The majority of educational institutions (universities and colleges) had thus confirmed their engagement to respect the FRQ Policy by September 2015. In accordance with the Policy, these institutions, thereupon, had to communicate to the FRQ any information concerning files of responsible conduct of research they had been seized with.  For their part, the institutions that fall within the health and social services network (CIUSSS and research centers) were given until March 31 2017 to take this engagement.

Given this progressive approach, the number of institutions having to communicate information concerning files of responsible conduct of research to the FRQ increased gradually since 2014.

Responsible conduct of research files status

  • Open file: Any file for which the FRQ have received a letter of admissibility or for which they have seized themselves during the fiscal year.
  • Closed file: A file is closed when it requires no further action from the FRQ.
  • Confirmed breach: File for which a complaint review committee has reached the conclusion that a breach of responsible conduct of research was conducted.


Number of responsible conduct of research open files per fiscal year

Fiscal year Number of open files
2015-2016 4
2016-2017 6
2017-2018* 4

Satus of responsible conduct of research files per fiscal year

The 2017-2018 fiscal year still going, the data presented for that year are incomplete.


Nature of confirmed breaches or ongoing files at the FRQ

These concern the nature of the allegations received by the institutions responsible conduct of research officers for which the FRQ were informed. Some of these allegations are still under review and have not been confirmed as breaches.

  • Redundant publications
  • Mismanagement of grants or award funds
  • Mismanagement of conflict of interest
  • Invalid authorship
  • Breach of policy or requirements relating to Intellectual property
  • Breach of policy or requirements relating to research ethics / Conducting research with human participants prior to receiving approval from a research ethics board
  • Fabrication (of data or research results)
  • Inadequate acknowledgement
  • Misrepresentation in an agency application or related document

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