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Terms of Reference


The Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research (PRCR), supported by the Secretariat, functions as an interdisciplinary review and advisory body. It provides the three federal research granting agencies (the Agencies) with a coherent and uniform approach to promoting the responsible conduct of research and addressing allegations of breaches of Tri-Agency policies, consistent with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (the Framework).

PRCR is mandated to:

  • consider allegations of breaches of Tri-Agency policies by reviewing institutional investigation reports;
  • recommend recourse, if appropriate, consistent with the Framework;
  • provide advice to the Agencies on matters related to the responsible conduct of research;
  • provide advice to the Agencies on revisions to the Framework; and
  • review the Framework every five years.


Members of PRCR will be appointed jointly by Agency Presidents. PRCR will include the Executive Director of the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research as an ex officio member.

In addition to geographical and gender representation, PRCR membership provides:

  • A balanced representation of individuals from the fields of biomedical and health sciences, social sciences and humanities, and natural science and engineering;
  • Expertise or experience in the area of research ethics, and integrity; and
  • Representation from the institutional administration level and the community.

All members of PRCR are volunteers. Members do not receive honoraria in compensation for their contribution of expertise and time, though the Secretariat will cover associated travel and accommodation expenses.


Members of PRCR and its Chair are appointed by the Presidents of the three Agencies for a three-year term, renewable once. The appointments will be staggered to provide flexibility and continuity.


PRCR convenes bi-monthly, normally via teleconference. It may convene more frequently if required.

The Executive Director and staff of the Secretariat participate in PRCR meetings to provide members with the necessary background, information and advice on Tri-Agency policies relevant to the meeting discussions.


A majority of its members (50% plus 1), which must include the Chair or his/her designate.

Reporting Structure

PRCR reports to the Presidents of the three Agencies on policy matters related to the Framework. The PRCR Chair reports annually on PRCR's activities to each of the Agencies' Councils.

In cases of confirmed breaches, PRCR (through the Secretariat) reports its recommended recourse to the President of the Agency whose funds are involved. The President is the final decision making authority.


Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research (2016)