Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
Policies and Procedures
NIFA requires that all awardees adhere to Title 2 CFR Part 422 "Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research; Research Misconducts".
NIFA's agency implementation procedures for reviewing and resolving allegations of Research Misconduct can be found on the NIFA Research Misconduct Policy Procedure web page. Additional information about scientific integrity and research misconduct can be found on the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) Scientific Integrity and Research Misconduct web page.
Reporting an Allegation
Anyone who suspects that researchers or research institutions performing federally-funded research may have engaged in research misconduct is encouraged to make a formal allegation of research misconduct to the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Suspected research misconduct may be reported to OIG using any of the following methods:
Via the OIG Hotline
United States Department of Agriculture
Required Information when Making an Allegation
To the extent known, the following details should be included in any formal allegations made to the OIG:
- The names of involved individuals and research projects
- Sources of funding
- Important dates
- Any documentation that bears upon the allegation
- Any other potentially relevant information.
Suspected research misconduct, as well as concerns involving human subject research protections (7 CFR Part 1c) or animal welfare requirements (9 CFR Subchapter A), can be reported directly to NIFA by emailing NIFAResearchMisconduct@usda.gov. The following individual is designated as the NIFA Agency Research Integrity Officer and is the NIFA research misconduct representative:
R. Brent Elrod
Agency Scientific Integrity Officer
Phone: (202) 445-5456
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.O. Box 419205, MS 10000
Kansas City, MO 64141-6205