Policy on Research Integrity

Policy Statement

Research Integrity

Plymouth State University expects faculty, staff, and students to conduct their work, including sponsored projects and research, with the highest degree of integrity. Likewise, federal sponsors are increasingly imposing requirements for grantee institutions to demonstrate the proficiency of their investigators in the ethical considerations inherent in research. These requirements reflect a shared societal concern for the proper stewardship of public dollars in support of research, the ethical treatment of human subjects, and the humane care and use of animals in research. Plymouth State University shares these commitments and therefore puts forward the following training requirements. This policy constitutes minimum standards set forth by Plymouth State University. Specific sponsors may have more stringent training requirements, in which case investigators supported by those sponsors are required to adhere to those requirements.

This policy applies to activities classified as Research or Development as defined by U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part §200.87 “Research and Development (R&D)”.

“Research” is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. “Development” is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

R&D means all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are performed by non-Federal entities. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

There are five areas of research integrity training covered by this institutional policy and outlined below. For instructions on accessing the online training see the Research Integrity Training webpage.

FINANCIAL CONFLICT OF RESEARCH (COI) TRAINING

Applicability: This requirement applies to all individuals (faculty, staff, and students) supported under externally and internally sponsored research projects. For the purposes of this policy, the term “supported” means working on an externally sponsored research project regardless of whether or not the grant provides the personnel with personal compensation.

Sponsor funds will not be released to the Principal Investigator of a sponsored project until documentation of his/her completion of the COI course is received. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure each current or future member of his/her research team supported by sponsor funds (including students) also completes the training course.

RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH (RCR) TRAINING

Applicability: This requirement applies to all individuals (faculty, staff, and students) supported under externally and internally sponsored research projects. For the purposes of this policy, the term “supported” means working on an externally sponsored research project regardless of whether or not the grant provides the personnel with personal compensation.

Sponsor funds will not be released to the Principal Investigator of a sponsored project until documentation of his/her completion of the RCR course is received. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure each current or future member of his/her research team supported by sponsor funds (including students) also completes the training course.

INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS TRAINING

Applicability: This IRB training requirement applies to all faculty, staff, or students conducting activities that meet the definition of human subjects research, regardless of whether those activities are externally funded, internally funded, or unfunded. IRB committee members also must take the training. Individuals needing clarity on whether their activity meets the definition of human subjects research should contact the IRB Chair- contact information is listed on the IRB website.

Faculty, staff, and students are reminded that no research with human subjects may be conducted without the advance review and approval of the Plymouth State University IRB. IRB protocols will not be approved without documentation of the completion of the required training by the Principal Investigator. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure each current or future member of his/her research team (including students) engaged in human subjects research also completes the training course.

INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE (IACUC) TRAINING

Applicability: This IACUC training requirement applies to all faculty, staff, or students conducting research with vertebrate animals, regardless of whether those activities are externally funded, internally funded, or unfunded. IACUC committee members also must take this training.

Faculty, staff, and students are reminded that no research with vertebrate animals may be conducted without the advance review and approval of the Plymouth State University IACUC. IACUC protocols will not be approved without documentation of the completion of the required training by the Principal Investigator. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to ensure each current or future member of his/her research team (including students) engaged in animal research also completes the training course.

EXPORT CONTROL REGULATIONS (ECR) TRAINING

Overview: Impact of Export Control Regulations on University Activities
Export control regulations apply to the transfer of controlled items to foreign nationals by actual shipment out of the U.S., and also by transfer of controlled technology/technical data and/or encryption software by written, oral or visual release or disclosure to foreign nationals both in- and out- side of U.S. borders. Consequently, export controls can impact University activities on-campus as well as abroad, including:

Payment of compensation, honoraria and contracts to embargoed countries, nationals and entities (OFAC);

Provision of services to embargoed countries, nationals and entities (OFAC);

Attendance at or planning of international conferences (OFAC);

Editing or joint-authoring of articles with nationals of sanctioned countries (OFAC);

Involvement of foreign students in research in which controlled technology is used (EAR & ITAR);

Shipment of controlled equipment to foreign countries (EAR & ITAR); and

Provision of services to foreign nationals, including training in the use of controlled equipment in- or out- side of the U.S. (EAR & ITAR).

Applicability:   Individuals conducting research projects where technology, data, or equipment, will be utilized in foreign countries, or where involvement of foreign persons are involved either directly through foreign travel by PSU personnel or where foreign persons are working on PSU projects.

Requirement:  Individuals working on applicable projects (see Applicability) are required to complete the UNH Export Controls online training course made available through the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) website. Individuals shall access the Export Controls at UNH training on the UNH website. Upon completion of the course you will receive an email certification from UNH. Please forward the completion certificate to PSU ORSP. The certificate will be made available to external sponsors (if applicable) by request. Training certifications are valid for a period of four years, after which time it is the individual’s responsibility to complete a “refresher” module