University of Southern California


How to Report Allegations of Research Misconduct

All members of the USC community deserve confidence that the university will thoroughly and fairly investigate allegations of research misconduct, with appropriate confidentiality, and without fear of retaliation. We in the Office of Research are committed to maintaining the integrity of USC’s research through such due process, applied consistently throughout the university.

What is Research Misconduct?

USC’s policy on Scientific Misconduct defines research misconduct as

  1. Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
  2. Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
  3. Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

To Whom Should I Report Research Misconduct?

Dr. Kristen Grace
Research Integrity Officer
Office of Research
(213) 821 7297

Should I Report Research Misconduct Allegations to my Department Chair?

Research misconduct allegations should be reported to the Research Integrity Officer (RIO).  If you are a department chair, and have received allegations of research misconduct, promptly report those allegations to the Research Integrity Officer.  If you have already reported allegations to your department chair, also submit your allegations to USC’s Research Integrity Officer.

Will My Allegations be Held in Confidence?

During the entire research misconduct proceeding, disclosure of the Respondent (accused), Complainant (accuser) and all witnesses is kept confidential to the extent possible and allowed by law, to those who need to know.  Confidentiality is expected of all persons associated with a research misconduct allegation.

Allegations may be made verbally or in writing and should include sufficient details such that the issues raised may be clearly identified. Allegations may be made anonymously, but will be assessed to determine whether they raise an allegation of research misconduct sufficiently specific to initiate an Inquiry.

Any questions regarding the process about potential misconduct should be addressed to the RIO.

How Should I Report Other Allegations Related to Research?

The Office of Professionalism and Ethics maintains a hotline for filing reports or complaints. Examples may include misuse of funds, sexual misconduct, lab safety, protection of research subjects, unmanaged conflicts of interest, and failure to follow intellectual property policy.   You may file such reports at the USC Help and Hotline . You may also contact the Vice President of Research or the Assistant VP for Research Compliance and Conflict of Interest, or the Research Integrity Officer.


Background on USC’s Research Integrity Officer

Dr. Kristen Grace has a clinical and research background in reproductive sciences.  She worked for the Federal Office of Research Integrity for seven years as a Scientist-Investigator, overseeing and conducting investigations of all Health and Human Services funded research.  She has worked closely with the National Science Foundation, the Office of Human Research Protections, the Veterans Association and Department of Justice during parallel and related investigations.  Dr. Grace also has experience as Director of the Human Subject Protection Program and Director of Clinical Compliance for Weill Cornell Medicine and University of Pennsylvania, respectively.


USC Policy on Scientific Misconduct

USC Guidelines for Assigning Authorship and for Attributing Contributions to Research Products and Creative Works

USC Guidance on Rigor, Transparency and Reproducibility in Research

Responsible Conduct of Research Training at USC

Thank you,

Randolph Hall
Vice President of Research

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