Research Code of Conduct Policy


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Research Code of Conduct



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (University or UNC-Chapel Hill), as one of the leading public research universities in the nation, is committed to maintaining the integrity and validity of the academic research conducted by faculty, staff and students. The University therefore holds to the fundamental belief that research should be conducted and the results of research disseminated, honestly, accurately and in accordance with the highest of professional standards.

Therefore, it is essential to promote an environment that facilitates the UNC-Chapel Hill research community's ability to do its best work, be respected, and have a positive experience while at the University. To that end, the purpose of the Research Code of Conduct is to promote and communicate the University's commitment to these guiding principles and to the highest standards of ethics and integrity for faculty, staff and students who are involved in research.

The guiding principles and standards set forth in this policy are in alignment with the University's goal to continually improve and to maintain its status as a world-class research university attracting the best faculty, staff and students.

Scope of Applicability

The Research Code of Conduct (Code) applies to the following members of the UNC-Chapel Hill research community:

  • researchers (including academic staff, research assistants, research associates, research fellows and academic-related staff);
  • staff involved in research administration (including technical, clerical, and administrative staff) employed by the University, whether working on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus or while working on assignment in other locations;
  • supervisors of postgraduate and undergraduate students working on sponsored projects (sponsored projects include organized research, instruction or public service that is supported by external funding through the receipt of a grant, cooperative agreement, collaboration agreement, sub-award or contract);
  • supervisors of postgraduate and undergraduate students working on University supported research projects;
  • postgraduate and undergraduate students working on sponsored projects projects;
  • personnel holding honorary or adjunct positions involved in research projects within, or on behalf of, the University;
  • collaborators and sub-contractors from other institutions, government bodies and industry, participating in research activities in UNC-Chapel Hill controlled facilities on campus or while on assignment in other UNC-Chapel Hill controlled locations;
  • temporary staff, visiting scholars and scientists, volunteers and other representatives engaged in UNC-Chapel Hill sponsored research and therefore working, speaking or acting on behalf of the University research community);
  • all individuals engaged in the setting of research priorities and in the monitoring, assessment and evaluation of research.

This Code is intended to reflect the content of other UNC-Chapel Hill research policies and procedures. It does not create any additional or different rights or duties of a substantive or procedural nature.


Policy Statement

The Research Code of Conduct is formed around the basic assumption that University academic and research faculty and staff are committed to the highest standards of professional conduct when engaging in research activities. This policy is intended to provide the framework for sound research practices and decisions. All members of the University research community have a duty to ensure that their work enhances and preserves the good name of the University and the profession to which they belong.


In carrying out the University's research and public service missions, members of the UNC-Chapel Hill research community are expected to advance UNC-Chapel Hill's research administration core values. These values embrace commitment to:

  • discovery and the search for the truth;
  • diversity of community and ideas;
  • integrity;
  • academic freedom;
  • stewardship and accountability for resources and relationships;
  • sharing knowledge in a learning environment;
  • excellence and innovation;
  • application of knowledge and discovery to advance the quality of life and economy of the state, region, and the world; and
  • provide service to the residents of the State of North Carolina.

Commitment to Ethical Conduct

Protecting the University's reputation is critical to the growth of its research enterprise and continued success. Each member of the UNC-Chapel Hill research community has a personal responsibility for implementing this Policy in relation to their research activities. The standards of conduct in this Code, supported through policies, procedures, and administrative rules, provide guidance for making decisions and memorialize the university's commitment to ethical and responsible behavior.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contacts

Title: Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
Name: Andy Johns
Telephone: 919-962-8253

Important Dates

  • Reviewed and re-approved with no substantive changes: June 9, 2022, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, and the Institutional Research Integrity Officer.
  • Original Effective Date and title of Approver: June 12, 2017, Vice Chancellor for Research.
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Article ID: 132342
Thu 4/8/21 9:29 PM
Fri 6/17/22 3:52 PM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research - Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
06/09/2024 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
06/09/2022 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
06/09/2022 12:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
06/09/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
06/12/2017 12:00 AM