Reporting Research Incidents or Concerns

Last updated on August 12, 2016 4 min read Research Safety & Health - Reporting Research Incidents or Concerns

To report concerns or seek advice on matters related to scientific misconduct, research safety, animal welfare, or other safety or research compliance matters at Boston University, the following resources are available to you.

Incident and Near-Miss Reporting

Incidents and near-misses (incidents that did not result in harm but had the potential to do so) can be quickly and anonymously submitted in BioRAFT (all active faculty, staff, and students have access to BioRAFT; Kerberos log-in required). BU deems it important to identify and investigate near-misses as a key element of the safety program so that we can identify and control risks before an injury occurs.

If you have concerns, questions, or comments about safety reporting, please contact Environmental Health & Safety.

Report Incident

Research Misconduct

Boston University is committed to the highest possible standards of integrity in research. This commitment is fundamental to the University’s mission in fostering the pursuit of truth and the expansion of knowledge. The administration, faculty, students, and staff of the University share in the responsibility of preserving the integrity of research. All members of the University community are responsible for promoting the highest ethical principles in each academic discipline and for holding members of the community accountable to these principles.

The consequences of misconduct in research may include not only damage to individual careers but also the erosion of public confidence in the integrity of scholarship and research at the University, and in the academic community and society generally. Similarly, false or inaccurate allegations of misconduct in research not made in good faith may injure the reputation of scholars, researchers, and the institution. It is important that there be appropriate University procedures by which allegations of misconduct in research may be fairly and thoroughly aired, both to expose and correct misconduct and to protect the researcher against false charges.

Boston University adopts the Research Misconduct Policy and procedures with the goals of protecting all researchers and other individuals against false and injurious allegations, protecting from reprisal individuals who in good faith wish to bring forward evidence of improper conduct, ensuring that all allegations of research misconduct will be reviewed fairly and accurately, and ensuring that scholarship and research performed under the auspices of Boston University meet the standards of academic integrity and truth expected by the academic community.

Responsibility to Report Misconduct

All institutional members should report observed, suspected, or apparent research misconduct to the research integrity officer (RIO) (Kathryn Mellouk, associate vice president of research compliance,, 617-358-4730). Any other official who receives an allegation of research misconduct must report it immediately to the RIO. Reporting misconduct in scholarship and research is a serious responsibility shared by all members of the University community. Reports may be made to the RIO by telephone, electronic means, or in-person meeting.

Individuals from outside the University (including other scientists, journal editors, or research subjects) should also report to the RIO any allegations of research misconduct involving persons employed by or affiliated with the University.

If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct, he or she may meet with or contact the RIO to discuss the suspected research misconduct informally, which may include discussing it without disclosing the identity of the accused and/or hypothetically. If the circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of possible research misconduct, the RIO will refer the individual or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving the problem.

If the RIO determines that the circumstances described by the individual meet the definition of possible research misconduct, the University has an obligation to move forward under the procedures outlined in the Research Misconduct Policy.

More information: Research Misconduct Policy

Confidential Reporting (Whistle-Blower)

Boston University has established a hotline to provide a way to anonymously and confidentially report activities that may involve improper conduct or violations of University policies. The University has selected EthicsPoint to provide this service for the University community. If you would like to make a report through EthicsPoint, you may do so online, by phone, or by mail:

  • Online: Visit, enter “Boston University” under “File a New Report,” and then click “Submit.”
  • Telephone: 1-866-294-8451
  • Mail: Boston University, c/o EthicsPoint, PO Box 230369, Portland, OR 97223

Alternatively, you may wish to speak with:

  • The chair of the department in which the conduct took place;
  • The dean of the school or college in which the conduct took place; or
  • An independent mentor, advisor, principal investigator, or laboratory director.

For advice or information about whistle-blowing, you may confer, on a confidential basis, with:

  • Associate Vice President for Research Compliance Kate Mellouk (; 617-358-4730); or
  • University Ombudsperson Francine Montemurro (; 617-358-5960)

Animal Welfare Concerns

If you have concerns, questions, or comments, please visit the IACUC Violation and Complaint Resolution page or email

Office of the Ombuds

BU offers independent, impartial, informal problem-solving resources through the Office of the Ombuds. This service is available to the entire BU community. The Ombuds can be a good first place if you have a concern and don’t know where to turn for help. Visit the Ombuds website for more information.

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