Parkinson’s researcher Caroline Barwood pleaded not guilty to fraud-related charges in a Brisbane courtroom Monday.
According to 9News, Barwood is accused of three counts of fraud, and four instances of attempted fraud, which include trying to obtain approximately $700,000 (AUD) from various organizations between 2011 and 2013 for a study that never occurred. The case follows an investigation at her former institution, the University of Queensland (UQ), which resulted in three of her papers being retracted.
Crown Prosecutor Caroline Marco alleged that Barwood was also intimately involved with Bruce Murdoch, her former colleague at the UQ, who has pleaded guilty to 17-fraud related charges, and received a two-year suspended sentence earlier this year.
Marco also claimed that Barwood admitted that “she took no part in the study, had not even met a single patient,” the court heard, and relied on a study Murdoch claimed to have conducted, but was in fact never carried out.
It was also claimed that Barwood — who was granted bail in November 2014 — tried to pass off another researcher’s work as her own when applying for grant, fellowship, and travel funding, 9News reported.
When we contacted Barwood for a comment last week, she told us she is unable to comment on the ongoing proceedings.
Both Barwood and Murdoch left the UQ in 2013. In addition to her three retractions, Barwood also has a “reader alert” to her name; all four of the notices list Murdoch as an author. After the UQ investigation into 92 academic papers, Murdoch also notched a fourth retraction for a paper that is not co-authored by Barwood.
On two occasions, Barwood allegedly also tried to get almost $300,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council through applications for an early career fellowship, 9News reported, but neither of her applications succeeded.
A UQ spokesperson told us last week that the university will send Retraction Watch a statement once the case concludes.
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