Scientific Integrity Projects, Activities, and Outreach
Implementing the Scientific Integrity Policy and fostering a culture of scientific integrity is most effective when all employees, contractors, grantees, and student volunteers understand the Policy and how they contribute to EPA’s culture of scientific integrity. EPA’s Scientific Integrity Program pursues opportunities to increase visibility and improve the Program through outreach, training, new products, and other activities.
- Outreach Materials
- Scientific Integrity at EPA: Results of the 2016 EPA Employee Survey
EPA’s Scientific Integrity Program developed a series of innovative whiteboard videos on scientific integrity in 2016. The videos have been used in training workshops across the Agency. The objectives of the training are to increase awareness of the EPA Scientific Integrity Policy and to show how a culture of scientific integrity enhances the Agency’s work. Feedback from trainees regarding the use of whiteboard videos in the training has been very positive and the Scientific Integrity Program plans to develop two new whiteboard videos.
Management Dialogues on Scientific Integrity
The Scientific Integrity Program developed a training specifically geared towards managers and supervisors. These Management Dialogues provide an opportunity for managers to learn about their scientific integrity responsibilities as leaders at EPA, understand what scientific integrity is, know what resources are available, identify lapses in scientific integrity, and discuss their experiences with scientific integrity. The workshop challenges Agency leaders to uphold a culture of scientific integrity, encourage good policies and practices, lead the way, and mitigate negative influences on scientific integrity. These tenants of scientific integrity play a critical role in EPA’s ability to successfully use science to inform Agency decisions.
New Employee Onboarding Training
Since January 2017, all new EPA employees are required to take online scientific integrity training, which consists of a video of the Scientific Integrity Official conducting a training session. This training session features the introductory whiteboard video and discussion, followed by a short quiz. Showing this training to new employees helps them to establish a personal commitment to scientific integrity from the moment that they arrive at the Agency. This greatly contributes to the overall culture of scientific integrity at EPA.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit to determine whether the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy is being implemented as intended to assure SI throughout the EPA. The OIG examined:
1. Extent and type of employee concerns, if any, with SI at the EPA.
2. Employee awareness of the EPA’s SI Policy, including the process for reporting potential violations. A potential violation is also referred to as a potential “loss of SI.”
3. Reasons potential violations may not be reported.
4. The adjudication process for allegations of SI Policy violations in general and any concerns, such as with complaint resolution, timeliness of resolution, or other process-related issues.
The OIG used the results of the survey and audit to make recommendations of Further Efforts Needed to Uphold Scientific Integrity Policy at EPA. The Agency (EPA) agreed with the OIG recommendations and provided acceptable corrective actions