of emails fly out of Shirkhanzadeh’s outbox on a weekly basis. For years, he pleaded with the SRCR to investigate his case.
from Karen Wallace, an SRCR senior advisor, appeared on Shirkhanzadeh’s LORI site at the beginning of April 2016. Two external investigators were now on the case, to determine whether Queen’s was guilty of institutional non-compliance by improperly investigating evidence.
Martin Letendre, the managing director for Vertitas IRB — an independent ethics review board — and Larry Kostiuk, the associate vice-president at the University of Alberta, were selected. They would not be investigating every instance — they were tasked with a specific list of allegations
Dec. 27, 2012
to Jan. 15, 2015.
The investigation would be conducted and a drafted report was intended to be finished as early as June, to be sent to both the institution and the complainants for comments and revisions.
As of July 21, Shirkhanzadeh said that he hasn’t received anything yet. The final report, according to Susan Zimmerman, executive director of the SRCR, had been slated for the end of July.
In the meantime, two other investigations are still underway — with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Newfoundland & Labrador (PEGNL).
Shirkhanzadeh provided The Journal with the letters sent by both organizations. PEO promised to set an investigator to look into complaints on
Feb. 5, 2016
.PEGNL referred his allegations to its Complaint Authorization Committee only a few months ago, on
The PEO investigation has to do with the misuse of funds and duplication of academic information by another professor at Queen’s, says Shirkhanzadeh.
The professor will remain unnamed due to legal concerns, however, Shirkhanzadeh alleged in a letter to Karen Wallace, on
Feb. 15, 2016,
that less than 1 per cent of the author’s work was examined by the university for research misconduct. According to him, they failed to investigate over 100 conference papers.
As well, according to Shirkhanzadeh’s letter, the allegations of “misuse of funds” were unaddressed, as expenses were used that weren’t on the list of eligible expenses by NSERC. Primarily, the funds were used to travel to international conferences with duplicated papers, he claimed.
Three days after the response letter from PEGNL in May, Shirkhanzadeh’s posted a
new allegation of institutional non-compliance
, this time against Memorial University of Newfoundland.
The investigation process followed by Memorial University was non-transparent “when examining research integrity allegations submitted in Nov. 2014,” Shirkhanzadeh wrote on his website.
Speaking to The Journal, he explained that his involvement in the Memorial case stemmed from a Queen’s professor who Shirkhanzadeh had named in previous allegations.
In letters provided to The Journal, he noted that failing to conduct an adequately transparent investigation violates the Collective Agreement between Memorial University and Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association.
An SRCR response to Shirkhanzadeh confirmed that Memorial would be contacted for further examination. As of June 16, Shirkhanzadeh said that the power was in the hands of the SRCR to investigate.
On June 24, Memorial’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Gary Kachanoski, wrote a letter to Shirkhanzadeh. “Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention,” Kachanoski wrote, adding that he always took allegations of academic misconduct seriously.
At the time of the letter’s writing, he had appointed two independent investigators to the case. Their deadline was expected to be within less than 90 days.
However, while the external investigations have been underway, the investigations against Shirkhanzadeh at Queen’s have carried on. At the end of June, one concluded.