Safeguarding and Research and Innovation

Safeguarding is defined as taking all reasonable means to prevent harm from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur.

The scope of our safeguarding activity covers any sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment of research participants, communities and research staff, plus any broader forms of violence, exploitation and abuse relevant to research such as bullying, psychological abuse and/or physical violence.

Safeguarding is a high priority among UK funders and QMU is committed to ensuring that safeguarding implications are properly considered and managed during the lifetime of research projects.

The University's Safeguarding Lead for Research is Kim Stuart, Director, Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Unit (RKEDU).

QMU has a number of existing policies and procedures to support researchers in the identification and mitigation of Safeguarding concerns:

Research Integrity

As part of the project’s Safeguarding responsibilities, QMU’s Research Integrity guidance will help you to assess the suitability of both the research environment and any formal or informal relationships with anyone involved in your research. Policy advice includes:

The revised Concordat to Support Research Integrity was published in 2019. As a signatory QMU considers the revision of the Concordat as an important step in safeguarding and improving standards in UK research, as research quality is inextricably linked to research integrity.

QMU membership of the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO)

UKRIO advise on issues of good practice in research – how to get things right and what to do if you think you are having problems with your research. They also advise whistleblowers and others, with concerns about research, and help those responsible to deal effectively with problems of poor practice and allegations of misconduct.

UKRIO Confidential Advice Line – this provides independent expert and confidential advice on the conduct of academic, scientific and medical research, from promoting good practice to addressing poor practice and misconduct.  This Advisory Service is open to all, including members of the public, research participants, patients, individual researchers, research students and research organisations. UKRIO welcomes enquiries on general or hypothetical topics, as well as those on specific research projects, issues and cases. 

Research Ethics

Researchers should also refer to the University's Research Ethics Procedures that set out the principles behind ethical review and the regulatory framework under which research is undertaken.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

QMU is fully committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and the following Safeguarding-related policies should be reflected in all research.

Dignity at Work Policy QMU runs regular Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training via ACAS which is available to all staff through the year. 

Grievance and Misconduct

Concerns with impunity can be raised through the established escalation routes:


Grievance Procedure

Disciplinary Procedure


Protection of Vulnerable Group Policy

Contractor Awareness of QMU Policies

As part of the contracting process, Principal Investigators are accountable for disseminating these policies to research partners and participants, ensuring their practical implementation, and monitoring research activities as part of their grant management and reporting responsibilities.

Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Unit

Show Contacts

Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Unit

Kim Stuart Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Unit 0131 474 0000
RKE - Vivian Mathieson Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer 0131 474 0000