Statement on the investigation of the work of a doctoral student

Result of the initial phase of the investigation

We have completed the initial phase of investigation into the recent publication of the work of a student, who had registered for a PhD, which raised widespread and significant concerns and complaints, all of which we take very seriously.

We review all aspects of the student’s work and academic supervision, the origin of the article, their background, the associated academic processes for admission to our PGR program and the conduct of research, and other issues that have been raised.

This investigation is not yet complete, however, we wanted to provide initial findings where we can and the action we have taken, especially as there are broader concerns about the student beyond research misconduct.

Qualitative research

The basis of the article published in Qualitative Research was a paper for the course “Topics in Interdisciplinary Queer Studies: Autoethnography” at the University of Stavanger, Norway.

The research involving participants described in the article was conducted for his master’s degree at a university in Berlin. There is conflicting information regarding when the period of self-immersive search activity took place.

The described research methodology and data collection have not been subject to University of Manchester research ethics approval. The production of the article was not part of his supervised doctoral study program.

However, there are broader issues for the University that we continue to explore.

Assistance with a police investigation

Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation. We assist them in their investigations to establish what offences, if any, have been committed in the UK or elsewhere.

Continuation of the doctorate and next steps

The student was enrolled in a doctoral program but the research design he developed and the methods he proposed to conduct the research for his doctorate were submitted to and rejected by our University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) on June 17, 2022.

As a precaution, the student has been suspended pending the outcome of a full investigation under the Student Conduct Discipline Regulations.

Other important actions of the University

There are a number of serious issues raised by this case, which we are still investigating. We have robust procedures for approving new research through our University Research Ethics Board, in accordance with the standards applied by all industry research funders. The research methods and data collection proposed by the student for his study program were rejected.

We were unaware of the background relating to this student which has now come to light, and this case has highlighted that we need to ensure that our doctoral student recruitment processes are robust enough to appropriately consider legal issues, ethics and safeguards of the proposed research. and previous related activities of applicants, if any.

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Maria D. Ervin