Research Integrity – A Matter of Global and African Concern

Mr Tony Mayer, Nanyang Technological University

Prof Mai Har Sham, University of Hong Kong

Prof Laetus Lategan, Central University of Technology

Dr Rocky Skeef, National Research Foundation (NRF)

Dr Francis Kombe, African Research Integrity Network


By the early 2000s, the need to promote integrity in research was widely recognized as a priority in many countries and by a wide range of research organisations. Research misconduct has tended to dominate discussions although now the emphasis has shifted to the promotion of good research practice through education, training and good mentorship. At the same time, changing technologies have created new challenges as has the very rapid rise in global research investment and the number of researchers practicing their craft. Much has been left to self-regulation and voluntary codes of conduct while, at the same time, there have been moves in several countries to create national codes which may have legislative backing. There have also been increased demands for greater accountability and transparency to satisfy societal demands.

While the values of integrity and ethics are universal, cognisance has to be taken of the local circumstances in developing best practice. As Africa generally, led by South Africa, increases its research capabilities and investment in research, developing good research practice a fundamental.

This session will examine the development of research integrity and good research practice from the viewpoint of funding agencies, universities as well as from overseas and is aimed at developing an ongoing conversation on all aspects of research integrity as it applies to the African “research project” including the African Research Integrity Network (ARIN).

 

Mr. Tony Mayer, Singapore, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Tony Mayer is an earth scientist. He conducted research at Leicester University and University College, London before pursuing a career in research management at the UK Natural Environment Research Council. He is currently the Europe Representative and Research Integrity Officer at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and is also the Treasurer and Governing Board member of EuroScience. He was previously the Director of the COST Office in Brussels and Head of Strategy at the European Science Foundation, Strasbourg. He was the co-chair and co-organiser of the First (Lisbon) and Second (Singapore) World Conferences on Research Integrity.

 

Prof. Sham Mai Har, China (Hong Kong),University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Professor Sham is the Associate Vice President (Research) of the University of Hong Kong. She is part of the university senior management team developing research in Hong Kong and mainland China, research integrity policy and education, as well as postgraduate education. Professor Sham obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge. She received her postdoctoral training in Developmental Genetics in the National Institute for Medical Research in London, U.K., before joining the University of Hong Kong. She served as Assistant Dean (Research) and Head of the Department of Biochemistry in the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. She is currently Convener of the Research Cluster of Developmental and Stem Cell Biology in the School of Biomedical Sciences in the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong. As a developmental geneticist, Professor Sham leads a research team on the molecular mechanisms of mammalian development and mouse models of human congenital disorders. This covers areas of gene regulation in development, molecular control of neural crest differentiation, genetic bases and mutant mouse models of human diseases, and neural stem cells. Mai Har is Co-Chair of the 2019 Sixth World Conference on Research Integrity.

 

Prof. Laetus Lategan, South Africa,Central University of Technology

Prof. Laetus O. K. Lategan is the Director of Research Development and Postgraduate Studies at the Central University of Technology, Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He completed doctoral studies with the University of the Free State in Philosophy (1992) and Theology (1995) respectively. Professionally he has an extensive background in senior and executive management. His research interest is in the areas of social conditions for public health, research ethics, healthcare ethics, applied ethics and doctoral education. He is the (co-)author of close to 200 publications in various disciplines. He is the editor of the Journal for New Generation Sciences (ISSN 1684-4998) and a National Research Foundation rated researcher. His most recent books are “Healthcare ethics for healthcare practitioners” [Laetus OK Lategan& Gert J van Zyl (editors), 2017. Bloemfontein: SUN MeDIA] and “Get ready … Get set … Go! Preparing for your doctoral studies and doctoral education” [Laetus OK Lategan (editor), 2017. Bloemfontein: SUN MeDIA].

 

 

Dr Rocky Skeef, South Africa, National Research Foundation (NRF)

Dr Rocky Skeef is the Executive Director, Reviews and Evaluation at the National Research Foundation.Rocky completed his PhD in biochemistry at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 1987 and has worked at the National Research Foundation (NRF) – a statutory body that supports and promotes research through funding, developing human resources and providing facilities – since 2004.

 

Dr. Francis Kombe, Kenya, KEMRI-Wellcome/Africa RI Network

Francis Kombe is a COHRED Associate and chairs the International Advisory Group of the RHInnO Ethics programme and the Ethics, Community Engagement and Patients Advocacy and Support (ECEPAS) Working Group under the Global Emerging Pathogen Treatment Consortium (GET). He is a UNESCO trained teacher of ethics and an appointed Member of International Forum of Teachers of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. He works as a Training Coordinator at KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi- Kenya. He has over 20 years of experience in biomedical research ethics, capacity building and community engagement, with applying these skills in the context of international collaborative health research.
Educated in South Africa (University of Kwazulu Natal) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine he is a member of the International Teachers of Ethics Forum (ITF) and of the KWTRP Research Ethics Committee.

Francis’ current focus is promotion of Research Integrity in Africa and the establishment of the African Research Integrity Network (ARIN). He has published in the fields of research integrity, and informed consent.