- ATU recognizes that research is an essential mission of the university to help its community gain knowledge through original and appropriate research. ATU also recognizes that conducting original research in the basic and applied sciences is of vital importance to the development of ATU faculty and staff and to the nation at large.
- The university also recognizes the importance of a sound framework and guidelines for the conduct of research and has established the following guidelines to promote and guide the proper undertaking of all research activities at ATU.
- All research activities at the university should respect the principles of beneficence (and do no harm), autonomy of the human subject and justice. Researchers at ATU must commit to these principles as well as fundamental respect for academic freedom, the environment and the tenets of the Islamic religion. Research at ATU must conform to current best practices of informed consent concerning human subjects and must have the potential to provide benefits to the community or individual subjects.
3.0 Research Integrity
- All researchers must perform, analyze and present data and research findings accurately and commit to full integrity and honesty. There will be zero tolerance for falsification of data, deliberate bias in conclusions and plagiarism by any of its researchers. The zero policy means immediate suspension and when appropriate revocation of degrees and other certificates based on that research. Researchers must conform to current principles of case control studies and the use of placebo for experimentation controls. Appropriate randomization of subjects based on unbiased algorithms must be used in all cases where subjects are divided into groups.
4.0 Collaborative Research Activities
- In the event that researchers from international organizations or institutions collaborate with ATU faulty or students, all applicable normative and technical international standards must apply. Research conducted in this capacity must be shown to have potential benefits to the local community and the researchers must show beforehand how these benefits will be provided to the local community if they materialize. International researchers must provide approval of their proposed research from their own institution’s Institutional Research Board (IRB) in addition to the submission of their proposals to ATU’s IRB. ATU will not consider such proposals until approval from the overseas or outside institution’s IRB is submitted.
5.0 ATU IRBs
- All research conducted at ATU or in the name of ATU must be approved by ATU’s IRB. ATU’s IRB has been setup by the Board of ATU and includes the President of ATU, the Academic Director of ATU, two senior faculty members and one outside faculty member chosen for each research on the basis of expertise on the subject of the research and one member of the community. One of the faculty members must have expertise in ethics. Undergraduate student research required for graduation may not be subject to an IRB review, but must be certified by the student advisor that the subject of research meets condition for an IRB-waiver. Graduate dissertations must however be approved by an IRB. The secretariat of the IRB will be located at the Institute for Practical Research and Training so that the IRB management will be separate from the management of ATU.
- Researchers undertaking activities under ATU auspices must disclose the following: Any potential financial gain by any of the researchers and any relationship to agency or agencies sponsoring their research. Research findings at ATU are based on academic freedom and the principle of open exchange of information through publications and therefore no research at ATU can be secret unless expressly approved by the university president. Researchers at ATU are required to maintain clear records of all methods and procedures and to preserve all sample material whenever possible for further retesting if necessary and to ensure accountability and transparency.
7.0 Research Subject Confidentiality
- Utmost care must be taken to respect patient confidentiality. No subject or responder-identifiable records can be released either for publication purposes, news or interviews. Researchers at ATU are forbidden to transmit patient or subject data over unsecured e-mail or other internet vehicles.
- ATU shall make every effort to secure funding for research activities for its scholars. ATU also encourages researchers to seek funding freely from outside sources, but all applications must be approved by the university’s financial office to make sure that proper costing and accounting procedures are followed. All funding received by researchers will be administered by the administration department of the university. Hiring for funded research activities must be under the direction and approval of the Human Resources Department.
- ATU shall endeavor to provide a nurturing environment for its researchers to seek grant funding and to provide researcher with adequate laboratory and other spaces to conduct the research.
9.0 Authorship of Publications
- All research projects must be identified with a lead investigator. It is the responsibility of the lead investigator to set the direction of the research and to approve all presentation of data and the publication of the findings. The lead investigator is also responsible for the assignment of authorship list and order. In the event of any disputes concerning the authorship of any publication, an appeal may be made to the university’s disciplinary bodies.
10.0 Peer-Review Publications
- The nascent research community at ATU and elsewhere in the country are limited in their capacity to publish their work in international peer reviewed journals and other forms of publications. ATU, therefore, seeks to start its own in-house avenues so that researchers can reach wider audiences. As part of promoting research, this policy mandates ATU to reach out to other local universities and government to assist in the creation of scientific publications.
11.0 Safety and Security
- Before beginning any activity, it is vital for the investigators of any research activity to provide to the university any safety concerns that may affect the workers, the subjects, the university community and the community at large and to the environment. A duly signed safety statement must be provided to the relevant IRB. The investigators using university laboratories must make sure that they abide by the safety SOPs of the respective laboratory and to also make sure that the laboratory under their disposal meets safety standards. All accident and incident reporting procedures must be followed and failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the research activity.