Director Sheila Garrity looks back at her first year leading ORI

Just over a year ago, Sheila Garrity took the job as director of ORI to continue the agency’s mission:

  • Foster an environment of research integrity
  • Preserve taxpayer funds
  • Help educate research communities on the responsible conduct of research

In reflecting on ORI activities over the last 12 months, Sheila noted that this has been a busy time—with many accomplishments worth noting. ORI has expanded its office by hiring several in program development, education, compliance, and investigative oversight. ORI has also collaborated with leaders in the research community, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Integrity Officers, and The Council on Government Relations.

One important activity ORI continues to engage the community is through Research Integrity Officer (RIO) Boot Camps. RIOs remain essential partners at institutions across the nation, who ensure that when allegations of research misconduct occur, proceedings are conducted fairly and independently. Sheila noted that this past year ORI worked to develop new educational opportunities. This April, several expert RIOs came to ORI for an in-depth three-day workshop to revise the boot camps to stay current with standards and practices.

To highlight ORI’s continued commitment to education and research activities, Sheila and ORI Acting Deputy Director Loc Nguyen-Khoa wrote an article for the National Council of University Research Administrators about the importance of ORI’s mission and the work being done by ORI colleagues.

Sheila noted that ORI has also focused on its regulatory responsibilities in the past year. ORI’s current regulation was written almost two decades ago, and an update was needed to keep pace with the dynamic research environment. Last October, ORI released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which is an essential step to updating the regulation. The NPRM was a major success, as its purpose was to prompt engagement from stakeholder groups across the nation. ORI received many thoughtful comments—and Sheila reviewed every single one. ORI is currently working to draft a completed regulation, or Final Rule, and these comments inform this process. Sheila expressed her thanks to all that commented in a recent video, expressing her appreciation for the time commenters took to share their thoughts as ORI develops the new regulation. “Our goal is to publish a regulation that promotes greater transparency, efficiency, and objectivity,” she said. 

Sheila affirmed that ORI will continue to engage with the community and create more opportunities for collaboration—adding that it was an honor to work alongside those that engage in pioneering research all around the globe. “Fostering a world where we build trust in science together is the kind of world I want to live in and a world I want to leave for future generations,” she said. “I can’t wait to share more updates about the work we’re doing.”

Source URL: https://ori.hhs.gov/blog/director-sheila-garrity-looks-back-her-first-year-leading-ori