How To Report Misconduct Allegations

Funding News Edition: February 02, 2022
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Do you know what to do if you ever spot potential misconduct such as plagiarism, misuse of NIH funds, harassment, human subjects at risk, or other similar issues at an NIH awardee institution?

We encourage you to report your concerns so the appropriate authorities can take steps to investigate. Your reporting method depends on the type of allegation.

Some Allegations Go to a Research Integrity Officer (RIO)

Every NIH institute and center, including NIAID, has a designated RIO. As described in NIAID’s Allegations of Research Misconduct SOP, you may notify our RIO (contact information below) about any type of allegation on this list:

  • Research misconduct in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research (fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism)
  • Whistleblower retaliation for reporting misconduct or misuse of NIH funds. Learn more at
  • Awardee or applicant with an unreported foreign affiliation, component, support, funding, or other form of scientific overlap
  • Human subjects potentially at risk in an ongoing study
  • Harassment at an awardee institution—though you may report this to the RIO, we advise you to instead use NIH’s Find Help and Reporting Form.  

If you hear someone else allege one of these issues, you may advise that person to contact the RIO directly.

After you report an allegation from the list above, expect a response from the RIO within three business days. The RIO may also contact relevant NIAID staff to request information about the allegation and the awards involved. The NIH-level extramural research integrity officer uses the NIAID RIO's information to determine whether a full investigation is warranted at the NIH or HHS level.

Notice that financial misconduct is not listed above as an issue to report to the RIO. Instead, follow the process we describe in the next section.

Separate Process for Financial Misconduct Allegations

Learn What is considered fraud, waste, or abuse? If you notice potential misuse of NIH funds, report it to the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) using the contact information and full process described in NIAID’s Reporting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse SOP.

If you hear someone else bring up an allegation of financial misconduct, you may advise that person to report it directly to OIG.  

When you report, you may choose to remain anonymous to the extent permitted by law. OIG will assess the allegation and, if necessary, refer it to NIH's Office of Management Assessment for investigation and resolution. OIG staff will contact you only if necessary.

Outside Institutions Handle Other Types of Allegations

Other types of allegations go to your institution, not NIH or the RIO. Examples include:

  • Personnel issues (e.g., "I was fired unfairly" or "I wasn't included as a co-author on a paper")
  • Intellectual property theft
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment (for sexual harassment allegations, use NIH’s Find Help guide)

In these cases, you may report to the appropriate institutional contact such as your ombudsman, human relations department, equal opportunity office, or leadership (e.g., deans, chairs, CEOs).  

Contacts and More Information

Contact NIAID's RIO, Dr. Matthew Fenton, with your questions or research misconduct reports.

Review NIAID’s processes in our Allegations of Research Misconduct SOP and Reporting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse SOP. Find more details at NIH’s Research Integrity portal.

Contact Us

Email us at for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

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