Research Misconduct

Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.

policies and procedures

NIFA requires that all awardees adhere to the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct. This policy and its requirements are located on the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) website, Federal Register, Vol. 65, No. 235. NIFA's implementing policies and procedures can be found in the NIFA Research Misconduct Policy (PDF) document, on the NIFA Research Misconduct Policy Procedure web page.

Supplementary guidelines applicable to scientific research information that is officially used or produced by USDA agencies or offices is located on the USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Scientific Research Web Page.

Reporting an Allegation

Anyone who suspects that researchers or research institutions performing federally-funded research may have engaged in research misconduct is encouraged to make a formal allegation of research misconduct to the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Suspected research misconduct may be reported to OIG using any of the following methods:

Via the OIG Hotline


(202) 690-1622
(800) 424-9121
(202) 690-1202 (TDD)


U.S. Mail:

United States Department of Agriculture
Office of Inspector General
P.O. Box 23300
Washington, DC 20026-3399

Required Information when Making an Allegation

To the extent known, the following details should be included in any formal allegations made to the OIG:

  • The names of involved individuals and research projects
  • Sources of funding
  • Important dates
  • Any documentation that bears upon the allegation
  • Any other potentially relevant information.

The following individual is designated as the NIFA Agency Research Integrity Officer and is the NIFA research misconduct representative:

Max Teplitski
National Program Leader and Agency Scientific Integrity Officer
Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition
Phone: 202-734-1808

For U.S. Mail:
USDA-NIFA, Institute of Food Production and Sustainability
Stop 2240
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250

For Hand Delivery:
USDA-NIFA, Institute of Food and Safety and Nutrition
Room 2438 Waterfront Centre
800 9th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024