The data on this page reflect the Research Integrity and Administrative Investigations Division’s allegations of research misconduct received, research misconduct cases opened and closed, and outcome of research misconduct cases closed by Fiscal Year (FY). This page will be updated yearly.
FY 2022 (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022)
The table below shows the number of research misconduct allegations received, cases opened, and cases closed in FY 2022. Investigations may span multiple FYs.
Research Misconduct Investigations FY 2022
When we receive an allegation of research misconduct, we initiate an inquiry to determine whether it has enough substance to warrant an investigation. For example, we may send the subject of the allegation a letter requesting an explanation and supporting evidence. If there is enough substance to proceed, we open a formal investigation.
Investigations involve collecting and reviewing facts, assessing the elements required for a research misconduct finding, and determining whether research misconduct occurred. We generally refer research misconduct investigations, along with any evidence we obtained during our inquiry, to the awardee institution. We also provide procedural guidance to the institution’s investigation committee. Once the institution completes its investigation, it sends us a report. We review the report for accuracy and completeness and decide whether to accept its conclusions. We may accept an institution’s report in whole or in part, request additional information, or initiate our own independent investigation.
If we conclude that research misconduct did not occur we either close the case with no action or close the case with a warning letter. A warning letter may be sent to multiple subjects and/or to an institution.
If we conclude research misconduct occurred, we send NSF a report of investigation, which includes recommended actions. These actions can range from required training up to government-wide debarment. NSF ultimately decides whether to make a finding of research misconduct and implement our recommended actions. NSF often requires more than one action for a case in which they make a finding of research misconduct. In serious cases, NSF may issue a government-wide debarment, which prevents individuals or entities from participating in any government contracts, subcontracts, loans, grants, and other assistance programs for a specified period. Institutions may also take actions at the conclusion of their investigative process.
The table below shows the outcomes of the research misconduct cases closed during FY 2022.
Outcomes of Research Misconduct Investigations FY 2022
FY 2021 (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021)
The table below shows the Research Integrity and Administrative Investigations Division’s allegations received, cases opened, and cases closed during FY 2021.
Research Integrity and Administrative Investigations FY 2021
The chart below shows the outcomes of the research misconduct cases closed during FY 2021.