Research Activity Management

1. Introduction

The overarching goal for VinUniversity (VinUni) is to conduct research that has positive, measurable, and significant impacts, thereby catalyzing innovation and promoting positive change on both a national and global scale. VinUni is committed to responsible and ethical conduct of research and stewardship of research funds. Our commitment to conducting impactful and responsible research is reflected in the policies and procedures for designing, conducting, supporting and reporting research at VinUni. These policies and procedures (P&P) express VinUni’s core values, promote our compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and incorporate the considerations related to our unique relationship with the primary investor/capital contributor of VinUni, the Vingroup Corporation.

While these P&P cover the topics that are relevant to VinUni research today, they are subject to change based on our evolving needs, research imperatives and governing circumstances. In that respect, these P&P are neither complete nor absolute. Rather, they will continue to evolve while at the same time remaining true to the overarching goal of conducting responsible and impactful research.

2. Applicability

These P&P apply to:

Any faculty, staff, student, affiliate, or any other individuals and organizations involved in the design, conduct or reporting of VinUni research, and to any research conducted at or supported by VinUni.

While some procedures may differ based on the status of the individual or the nature of the research, the principles governing research apply, without exception, to all. Note: The laws and regulations of Vietnam and any other country where research is conducted on behalf of VinUni must be met in all aspects of the research. Such laws are not described in this document. The Research Management Office (RMO) will develop a repository of the applicable laws in Vietnam and publish for comply with the VinUni community.

3. Responsibility

The RMO has overall responsibility for research administration and compliance with P&P related to research at VinUni.

All individuals subject to these P&P are responsible for ensuring that their actions are in compliance with these P&P at all times. These regulations are established to ensure transparency, accountability, and the successful execution of research projects within and on behalf of VinUni. Researchers and stakeholders are expected to be familiar with and to adhere to these guidelines to maintain the highest standards of research excellence and integrity. The RMO is entrusted with the authority and responsibility to supervise the implementation of these P&P.

4. Definitions

VinUni Research: Systematic and reproducible investigation or experimentation aimed at collection of information about a topic/subject, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge, including basic and applied research (disseminated publicly, e.g., through conference presentation and/or as a journal article, book or book chapter), product or concept development (e.g., a diagnostic test, drug or device, new piece of equipment, software).

Research Grant: Funds that are awarded to the recipient to carry out self-directed research, where there may be terms and deliverables such as reporting and publication requirements, but there is no contractual obligation for performance.

Research Contract: A project that is carried out with identified aims and objectives, the results of which will deliver new knowledge, publications, reports, data, and/or products of strategic importance to the funder. A research contract might specify the definable deliverables on a predefined schedule as a condition of payment.

Consultancy: A project that involves external stakeholders paying for the skills and expertise of university faculty and staff and/or for the use of equipment to work on a specified project.

Note: For projects that are performed on a contractual or consultancy basis, the funder may seek to own any intellectual property and may also expect complete confidentiality on the part of the university. In such cases, publications and ownership of data by the university may be partially or completely restricted.

Principal Investigator: A Principal Investigator (PI) is the primary individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research project in compliance with applicable policies governing the conduct of the research.

Co-PIs: Key personnel who have responsibilities similar to that of a PI on research projects. While the PI has ultimate responsibility for the conduct of a research project, the Co-PIs are also obligated to ensure that the project is conducted in compliance with applicable policies governing the conduct of the research.

5. Institutional Responsibilities Related to Research

5.1. Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PI Responsibility:

PIs, Co-PIs, and Project Directors (PDs) are responsible for the conduct of a research project, including intellectual direction, resource allocation and fiscal stewardship, representing the project to the sponsor, administrative and personnel oversight, adherence to relevant policies and P&P, and meeting the terms of the award.

PI eligibility for projects that are funded at VinUni: Except for VinUni student research (which is guided by Clause 9 of this policy), only members of the University Faculty (faculty) and Affiliated Faculty in positions of similar stature listed below may serve as a PI or Co-PI on funded projects:

  • The PI must be affiliated with VinUni as faculty member, researcher, or equivalent during the duration of the research project.
  • Full-time faculty member at VinUni including those in professorial track, teaching track, research track, practice track, or clinical track.
  • Experts and scientists who have been approved or appointed by VinUni or VinUni colleges as adjunct/affiliate faculty and actively involved in teaching, mentoring students, and research at VinUni.
  • VinUni staff with concurrent faculty appointments involved in research at VinUni.
  • The PI should possess relevant expertise and experience in the specific field or area of research for which funding is sought.
  • PI eligibility for projects in which VinUni funds are not involved: For projects that do not require funding, any member of the VinUni community, including faculty, staff and students can serve as a PI or Co-PI. For instances in which the PI or Co-PI is a staff member or student, a VinUni Faculty Supervisor will be required. The responsibilities of the PI and Co-PIs are the same regardless of the funding.

Any exceptions to the PI eligibility policy must be approved by the Vice Provost for Research.

5.2. Responsibility of members of the research team: A PI of a project funded through VinUni may select other members of the research team from any external organization, without the need for any formal collaborative agreements between the organizations, such as an MOU, exchange agreement, etc. These invited members can be faculty, students, researchers, consultants or other experts who will contribute to the research aims. These individuals work under the direction of the PI/PD and/or Co-PIs. All members of the research team are expected to conduct their responsibilities as described in the project.

6. Required Permissions for Research

6.1. Authority to Submit Proposals, Accept Awards, and Sign Research Agreements: 

The RMO oversees the administration of research at VinUni. The authority sign and submit proposals to sponsors, and to negotiate and sign awards, contracts, incoming material transfer agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and restricted access datasets for VinUni research projects should comply with VinUni’s Delegation of Authority at the time of action.

PIs are responsible for promptly notifying their college and the RMO upon becoming aware of a funding opportunity. It is a standard practice that PIs submit all proposal materials to the RMO at least five (5) days prior to the proposal’s due date. This timeframe allows for adequate preparation, including the completion of sponsor-required forms and certifications, as well as obtaining the necessary approvals.

PIs affiliated with VinUni as the host research institution within the research proposal are not allowed to directly submit funding proposals to external entities, enter into agreements/contracts, or accept research funding from external sources without obtaining prior approval from either the College or the Vice Provost of Research. These approvals must be documented in the form of a signed and dated document, including the necessary institutional credentials.

6.2. College and Faculty/Department Review Protocol and Permissions: Deans and Faculty/Department Heads are mandated to undertake an administrative review of each funding proposal (whether internal or external) and approval before submission. The PI bears the responsibility of adhering to established timelines, coordinating with the College/Faculty/Department to ascertain the feasibility of workload, securing the requisite budget, space, and ensuring the accuracy of the information presented in their proposal. The College Dean is responsible for confirming the academic relevance of the proposed project and its alignment with the committed effort and equipment resources.

6.3. Compliance Approvals: All research, regardless of whether it is sponsored by internal or external funds, must be conducted in compliance with current regulations for ethics, health and safety, and/or other institutional requirements where applicable. See Section 8 for more details on safety and compliance approvals.

6.4. Finance Approvals: The PI must prepare the budget plan using current institutional rates and allowable and unallowable expenses, as described in the VinUni policies. If an external sponsor has additional or conflicting budgetary requirements or guidelines, the PI should consult with the VinUni Finance Department and the RMO to construct a budget that either meets both sets of needs, or requires an exception.

7. Management of Research Funds

7.1. Budgeting for Research: PIs must use current institutional rates and norm for facilities, personnel, and other expenses for which such rates and norm have been established by VinUni. Unless there is a different requirement by the external sponsor, research proposals must include the budget template approved by VinUni when submitting proposals for funding. For case in which the external sponsor requires that a specific budget template is used, the VinUni PI should ensure that VinUni terms of budgeting are met.

7.2. Overhead costs: To cover the overhead costs of conducting research (such as use of utilities, support infrastructure, support personnel, etc.), the university may apply an overhead cost to research proposals; this may vary by the nature of the research that is conducted. The specific rates are described in the budget template that includes institutional rates that apply for research at VinUni. Unless specified by the external sponsor, the overhead rate applied for external funds is 10% of the total sponsored budget.

7.3 Management of Project Finances: The PI is responsible for directing the research expenditures of the funded project and ensuring that that research funds are spent in accordance with university and sponsor requirements.  Sponsored funds will be spent based on the financial and accounting practices at VinUni.

8. Responsibility and Ethics in Research

8.1. Academic Integrity: All members of the VinUni community are expected to perform their scholarly and scientific activities with honesty and integrity, to meet the highest ethical standards, and to respect the contributions and scholarship of others.

Academic misconduct includes any act that violates the standards of integrity in the conduct of scholarly and scientific research and communication. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Plagiarism: plagiarizing the work of others, i.e., intentionally or knowingly representing other people’s words or ideas as one’s own;
  • Falsifying or fabricating data, citations, affiliations, or any other information included in a research publication;
  • Abusing the confidentiality of information obtained from colleagues or other persons;
  • Intentionally or knowingly helping another to commit an act of academic misconduct, or otherwise facilitating such acts; or
  • Other practices that seriously deviate from ethical standards that are commonly accepted within the scientific and scholarly communities for proposing, conducting, or reporting research.
  • Academic misconduct also includes any form of retaliation against a person who, while acting in good faith, provides information about suspected or alleged misconduct.

Note: Academic misconduct does not include unintentional error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data 1 (https://www.dfa.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/policy/vol1_2.pdf)

The university will vigorously investigate allegations of academic misconduct, taking all reasonable steps to protect the rights and interests of individuals whose work or performance is questioned. More detail information is provided in the VinUni Code of Conduct document.

1 https://www.dfa.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/policy/vol1_2.pdf

8.2.Data Management: Research data should be collected using appropriate methods, with attention to detail, attaining appropriate permissions for the use of certain categories of data and the accurate and secure recording and curation of data. Data should be organized and maintained in such a way as to allow it to be reanalyzed, for priority to be established, and to enable other researchers to confirm or refute the finding. Data should be stored in such a way as to protect confidentiality, be secure from physical and electronic damage and destruction, and be archived for the appropriate time frame stipulated by external sponsor and University policies. Research proposals must indicate how data will be collected, maintained and secured to meet these expectations. PIs are responsible for ensuring compliance with data management requirements as outlined in the document ‘Management of Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Ownership of Data’ (VU_HT08.EN)

8.3. Use of Human Participants in Research: VinUni must ensure that the rights and interests of human participants involved in VinUni research projects are protected, that research is conducted with appropriate informed consent, and that the benefits of any research involving such participants outweighs the risks, perceived or real, to them and to others. Any research project proposal that involves research with human participants must be reviewed and approved by an Institution Review Board (IRB), such as that operated at Vinmec, duly constituted with the appropriate expertise and authority to determine level of risk, review, approve, require amendments to, or deny the research, and must be conducted in compliance with the approved protocols.

8.4. Use of Animals in Research: VinUni is committed to the humane treatment of vertebrate animals in research and teaching. The use of live animals must be justified for scientific or pedagogical purposes. Research involving animals must be approved by an Institutional Care and Use Committee (e.g. the Institutional Review Board – IRB or Independent Ethical Committee – IEC such as that operated at Vinmec) whose members have the appropriate expertise to conduct thorough reviews and the authority to approve, reject or require modifications to any such research, and must be conducted in compliance with the approved protocols. Where at all possible, we will uphold the principles of the 4Rs – replacement, reduction and refinement, and the rehabilitation of the use of animals in research.

8.5.Use of Infectious Agents and Biohazardous Materials in Research: The use of such agents in research must be justified and conducted in designated containment facilities by trained research personnel, paying careful attention to protection of the community and the environment. Any such research must be approved by a reviewing body with the appropriate expertise and authority to review, approve, reject or require modifications to the proposal.

8.6.Research Laboratory Safety: Each laboratory in which research is performed must at all times have been approved and regularly updated appropriate safety protocols, standard operating procedures, emergency preparedness measures, and hazard awareness documentation including Material Safety Data Sheets. Research Lab directors are responsible for ensuring compliance with established protocols, that new lab members undergo a health & safety induction, and that all research personnel are appropriately trained to conduct procedures safely. More detailed information is provided in the VinUni Laboratory Safety Plan. Regulations for safety during non-laboratory research, such as fieldwork, will be provided separately.

8.7. Conflicts of Interest (COI) Related to Research: VinUni ensures research integrity by requiring disclosure of financial, academic and scientific interests related to university responsibilities. Conflicts of interest are managed to prevent biases, thereby promoting integrity, credibility and public trust. Refer to the VinUni Code of Conduct for detailed guidelines.

8.8. Training in Responsible Conduct of Research: All researchers must complete training in the responsible conduct of research, approved by the RMO. Each College, Graduate School and Research Center can propose the training most appropriate for the research that is performed. More detailed information is provided in the VinUni Code of Conduct document.

9. Openness in Research

9.1. All externally funded awards for research funding will be made publicly accessible, giving the name of the PI, the name of the unit administering the award, the name of the sponsoring agency (or organization) of the award, the project title, and the amount of the In general, VinUni will not accept awards if a sponsoring agency is unwilling to be listed by name.

9.2. VinUni faculty have the freedom to engage in research of their choosing, as long as that research is within the guidelines of scholarly quality, is accessible to all interested parties and is in compliance with the laws of the land.

10. Authorship of Publications

All authors are required to accurately provide their affiliations at the time the research was conducted. For VinUni, this includes mentioning the college, institute, or research center, as well as the VinUni name and location.

The format of the affiliation should adhere to the style guidelines provided by the target journal or publisher. Different publications may have varying requirements, with some requesting more extensive details than others. The structured format for the affiliation should typically follow the pattern below:

  • College/Department/Institute, or Research Center name, VinUniversity
  • Address: Vinhomes Ocean Park, Gia Lam District, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Email Address: VinUni’s email address of the corresponding author (or of all authors, if required)

The primary affiliation of each author should reflect the institution where the majority of the research was conducted. In cases where the research was conducted at multiple institutions, authors must clearly indicate their primary affiliation based on their primary role or contribution to the work.

Authors who are in VinUni payroll and/or use VinUni’s resources while conducting the research should consider using VinUni’s affiliation among the affiliations appearing in publications.

Authors are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their affiliation(s) before submitting a manuscript for publication. The RMO may be involved in verifying affiliations when required by the publication process. In cases of collaborative research involving multiple institutions, authors are required to include secondary affiliations for the sake of transparency.

11. Student research at VinUni

11. 1. Principles

The principles governing student research at VinUni emphasize inclusivity and promote high quality. All undergraduates and postgraduates enrolled at VinUni are eligible to engage in scientific projects within VinUni’s study fields, provided they partake in requisite training sessions. Project grants align with VinUni’s strategic and financial contexts. Collaborative efforts are encouraged. Each project features a lead student supported by a team. Additionally, each student research project must have at least one supervisor as main academic contact and source of guidance, ensuring a supportive and enriching research experience.

11.2. Roles and responsibilities

Students are entrusted with the duty to conduct scientific research with professionalism and integrity, adhering to approved topics, university and legal regulations, and guidance from faculty supervisors. Their engagement involves participation in scientific events and timely submission of progress and final reports. This may extend to conversation of the final report to a draft manuscript co-authored with the faculty supervisor(s) if the research findings are considered potentially suitable for peer-reviewed publication. Faculty supervisors play a pivotal role in guiding and sharing responsibility with students for research content while upholding ethical norms. The RMO oversees project approval, evaluates reports, and ensures excellence. Meanwhile, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and colleges collaborate to provide support for students, aligning with annual objectives.

These P&P will be reviewed periodically and revised as necessary to align with evolving research priorities and best practices.

Status and Details

The overarching goal for VinUniversity (VinUni) Research is to conduct research that has positive, measurable and significant impacts. VinUni is committed to responsible and ethical conduct of research and stewardship of research funds. Our commitment to conducting impactful and responsible research is reflected in the policies and procedures for designing, conducting, supporting and reporting research at VinUni. These policies and procedures (P&P) express VinUni’s core values, promote our compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and incorporate the considerations related to our unique relationship with the primary investor/capital contributor of VinUni, the Vingroup Corporation.

Reference Number:

VU_HT06.EN

Document Type:

Policy

Issuing By:

The VinUniversity

Issuing Date:

Oct 15, 2020

Applying for:

VinUni all staff

Security Classification:

Public

Record of Changes

Revision Date Author / Editor Description
v1.0 Oct 15, 2020 Prepared by: Head of Research Management Office & Accreditation
Reviewed by: Vice Provost
Approved by: Provost
First released
v2.0 Nov 17, 2020 Prepared by: Head of Research Management Office & Accreditation
Reviewed by: Vice Provost
Approved by: Provost
Vietnam version released
v3.0 Oct 12, 2023 Prepared by: Research Management Office
Reviewed by: Research Affairs Committee, Vice Provost of Research & Innovation
Approved by: Provost
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