research policies & guidelines
Our pursuit of excellent research and the fulfilment of our responsibilities to our supporters and research participants require the maintenance of the highest standards of integrity and ethics. Below are policies and guidelines relevant to our grant schemes and governance.
Conflicts of Interest
Borne’s Conflicts of Interest policy applies to all employees, all Trustees and all external members or co-opted individuals who join Borne’s committees and workgroups including scientific advisors and external peer reviewers.
It is important to ensure that all decisions made by office-holders and committee members on behalf of Borne are in the charity’s best interests, free from any undue external influence and which does not pose any reputational risk to Borne. All who represent Borne are expected to act with integrity and impartiality, and to be open, fair and unbiased when making decisions or advising Borne.
Outside interests and expertise are important to support and challenge Borne’s work, but it is inevitable that conflicts of interests will arise. It is important that they are clearly identified and carefully managed through:
- Disclosure of outside interests that could give rise to potential conflicts so that Borne are aware of these in advance;
- Determination of whether there is an actual or perceived conflict before becoming involved in any decision on behalf of Borne; and
- Management of any conflicts as they arise in a manner that protects the integrity of Borne’s decision-making while exercising personal judgement in permitting the right level of input to enable the best decisions.
use of animals in research
Borne’s research uses human cells and tissue in the main and is carried out with patients’ active consent. There are occasions where mice and other laboratory animals may be used. This is when in vivo modelling is necessary to advance our understanding of biological processes and to develop new treatments, and there are no alternatives available as it is not ethical to carry out these studies in humans. Borne supports the principle of the 3Rs to refine, reduce and replace the use of animals in research, and is aligned with the Association of Medical Research Charities’ position on the use of animals in research.
supporting research in universities
We are committed to supporting research and the careers of talented researchers in UK universities.
We support the AMRC’s position on supporting research in universities. We believe the government is primarily responsible for providing underpinning funding for the UK biomedical science base. Borne aims to contribute towards a sustainable science base in universities but will not normally meet the full economic costs of the research we are supporting. Universities are expected to contribute resources to meet the full costs of research in partnership with Borne and not expect a percentage overhead towards general university infrastructure from the charity.
data sharing and open access
Borne supports the view that publicly funded research data is produced in the public interest and research data should be made openly available to the maximum extent possible to support the advancement of science. The expectation is that raw data resulting from Borne funded research should be shared freely on institutional repositories or structured data repositories (eg. gene and protein databases).
We encourage researchers to maximise the value of research data by sharing outputs in a responsible and timely manner. Borne research applicants must consider their approach to managing and sharing data at the application stage. Data management plans will be subject to peer review by external reviewers and Borne’s SAB. The cost, and cost justification, for delivering the data management plan should be included in the budget of the grant application as part of running costs.
Borne encourages researchers to publish papers from Borne funded projects as open access. We will consider the cost of publication (up to a maximum of £2,000 per research article) if it is included in the proposed budget of an application for funding.
In alignment with our policy of open access, The Borne Foundation is part of AMRC’s Open Research, an open access publishing platform set up by 24 Association of Medical Research (AMRC) member charities in partnership with F1000. This platform operates an alternative publication model that enables the rapid and immediate publication of any research funded by the participating charities, followed by open peer review. Researchers are encouraged to consider AMRC Open Research as an option for disseminating the results of their research.