UMaine’s Revised Research Misconduct Policy – December 2023

The following message was sent via email to all University of Maine employees on December 12, 2023 by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School.

Dear University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias Community Members,

We are writing to inform you about an important policy update. UMaine’s Policy and Procedures on Alleged Misconduct in Research and Other Scholarly Activities (Policy) was last revised in 2006. Application of the Policy in recent years highlighted the need for a comprehensive review. This comprehensive review identified areas where the Policy needed improvement to be more easily understood and administered and in line with current best practices.

The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) worked with the Office of General Counsel and an external subject matter expert who formed the core team updating the Policy. The team collected feedback from both internal stakeholders, including AFUM members (The Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine), and two additional external subject matter experts and worked extensively with the Faculty Senate to craft the resulting end product, an updated policy with a new name Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Research Misconduct (Word). Highlights of the substantive changes include, but are not limited to, expanded definitions of key terms that align with federal definitions, and more robust appeals and challenges processes.

The revised Policy also expands due process for both Respondents and Complainants, a key element of which that we recognize and respect, is a party’s right to representation, including by AFUM, throughout the Research Misconduct process. That is clearly preserved in the revised Policy. AFUM’s advocacy and engagement are a recognized part of the process.

We as an institution are deeply committed to fostering an environment in which the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research and other scholarly activities are maintained. This revised Policy, and the considerable work invested by all parties to bring it to fruition, are a testament to that commitment. We believe this policy provides improved clarity and direction so that issues and concerns from past processes will not reoccur.

This revised Policy is effective today and applies to all research and scholarship conducted within the University community. We encourage all faculty, staff and students to review this updated policy, and we welcome your questions, comments and feedback.

ORC will be developing educational resources about the revised Policy and will be hosting training sessions; a communication about these training sessions will be sent in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the Policy and additional educational materials are available on the Research Misconduct section of the ORC website.

Please contact UMaine’s Director of Research Compliance, Amanda Ashe (, with any questions you may have regarding these changes or any feedback you wish to provide.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, University of Maine System
President, University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias

Kody Varahramyan
Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School