Measures at Miyazaki International College for the Prevention of Misconduct in Research Activities and Public Research Funds

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Measures at Miyazaki International College for the Prevention of Misconduct in Research Activities and Public Research Funds

Miyazaki International College (MIC) is engaged in the prevention of misconduct, etc., in research and in the establishment of management and operations systems for public research funds. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) established the “Guidelines for Management and Auditing of Public Research Funds in Research Institutions” (Revised on February 28, 2014), which demand infrastructure, etc., for preventing the inappropriate usage of public research funds. On August 26, 2014, MEXT also published the “Guidelines for Responding to Misconduct, etc., in Research Activities,” requiring the implementation of said guidelines. Therefore, on April 1, 2015, MIC established its “Regulations regarding the prevention of misconduct, etc., in research activities and the misuse, etc., of public research funds.” Further, on December 25, 2017, MIC partially revised its “Regulations regarding the prevention of acts of misconduct, etc., in research activities.” Thus, MIC is making every effort to engage in appropriate actions regarding public research funds, etc., and prevent misconduct.

However, despite the establishment and promulgation of the MEXT Guidelines to prevent misconduct, etc., thereafter in research performed at relevant research institutions, misconduct continued to occur in research supported by public research funds. Hence, MEXT revised its “Guidelines for Management and Auditing of Public Research Funds in Research Institutions (Implementation Standards),” again on February 1, 2021, and published the official notification that effective measures were to be implemented. In that revision, for the eradication of research funds-related misconduct, MEXT demanded from all relevant research institutions the “strengthening of misconduct prevention systems” in “three measures.” The said measures were 1) the “strengthening of governance” with clarification of specific leadership and the duties of a Chief Administrative Officer toward the eradication of misconduct; 2) “awareness-related reform,” whereby the knowledge and awareness of misconduct prevention permeated all organizational members through compliance education and enlightenment activities; and 3) the strengthening of auditing functions and the eradication of “opportunities” to perform acts of misconduct, etc. For this revision, MEXT designated Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 in particular as the “Fiscal year for strengthening misconduct prevention measures,” and requested a new inspection at each institution, as well as creation and reinforcement of infrastructure, together with the promotion of effective measures.

In light of the above, Miyazaki International College also undertook responses in April 2015 to conform with the guidelines issued by MEXT for the prevention of misuse, etc., of public research funds, etc., as detailed above. MIC also undertook effective measures to implement the demanded three measures, namely, (1) strengthening of governance, (2) awareness reform, and (3) the strengthening of misconduct prevention systems. To implement (1), MIC established the “Miyazaki International College Regulations for the Management and Auditing of Public Research Funds.” Here, reference was made to preexisting regulations for preventing acts of misconduct in research activities (Regulations, Chapter 2, Articles 4–6), and (as determined by the Minister of MEXT on August 26, 2014) “Guidelines Related to Responses, etc., to Acts of Misconduct within Research Activities,” Section 1, “Basic Concepts Regarding Acts of Misconduct in Research Activities.” This created a responsibility system regarding operations, management, and auditing at MIC, and systematized related authority. These were published as “Miyazaki International College Measures for the Prevention of Misconduct Related to Public Research Funds,” and “Miyazaki International College Measures for the Prevention of Misconduct in Research Activities.” In the future, these measures will undergo constant review to improve their effectiveness, and there will be unceasing efforts to establish improved systems, infrastructure, etc.

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